Special Outdoor Events

Section 13-1504 of the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance states in part:

  1. Events included. Special events shall include outdoor meetings, auctions, bake sales, yard sales from other than residential properties, carnivals, special outdoor entertainment and similar activities which are not part of the property's normal use and which are not otherwise permitted on the site. This section shall not authorize outside sales as an accessory use to an established principal retail use of a site. Such outside sales are regulated by separate provisions in Section 7 of this ordinance. However, to the extent that such provisions conflict with this section, the more stringent regulation will apply.
  2. Permitted; general requirements. Special events as described above shall be permitted in all zoning district classifications, subject to compliance with the following requirements:
    1. When any event is held on property zoned or used for residential purposes, the area where it is held must be at least three acres in size.
    2. Such events shall comply with section 46-14 of the city Code, governing outdoor meetings, and with any other applicable provisions of the city Code.
    3. Such events shall not last for more than seven (7) days in succession, provided that the Planning Commission may grant a special exception allowing a special outdoor event to continue for up to thirty (30) days. Applications for special exceptions shall be made to the planning department.
    4. Such events shall not be held more than four times per calendar year on a particular property, subdivision or development.
  3. Special outdoor event limitations not applicable in certain instances. The limitations on special outdoor events set out above shall not be applicable in the following instances:
    1. When the zoning ordinance allows such events as a permitted use in the zoning district in which the property is located.
    2. When the special event involves activities or displays, including but not limited to public festivals, concerts, exhibits, art and educational displays, provided at public parks, government or educational institutions or similar facilities, as they are considered an aspect of the function of such facilities.

Outdoor Meetings & Events

Permits issued by the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department

Section 46-14 of the Chesapeake City Code states in part:

  1. As used in this section, the terms "meeting" and "event" include any arranged gathering of people, including but not limited to meetings, revivals, carnivals, circuses, dances, demonstrations and shows. These terms shall not include or apply to the operation of an established business enterprise which is conducted wholly or in part outside of a building, at the site of the permanent business address of such business.
  2. Any private property owner desiring to use such property or to permit the use of such property for an open air, tent or other outdoor meeting or event attended by 50 or more people and not to be conducted in its entirety within a permanent building shall provide adequate sanitary facilities on the premises for the persons attending.
  3. When the total number of people reasonably expected to attend such a meeting or event exceeds 500, the property owner or the owner's designee shall first obtain from the chief of police a permit for such meeting or event. The permit shall be issued upon demonstration by the owner or the owner's designee that:
    1. Adequate sanitary facilities will be provided on the premises for the persons attending or participating in such meeting or event.
    2. Traffic control arrangements have been made to provide for the safe passage of motor vehicles and pedestrians to and from the property.
    3. Any identified problems relating to actual or potential noise, safety hazards or other matters affecting the health, safety or welfare of participants or of those on neighboring properties have been addressed.
  4. The measures to be taken in regard to the requirements listed in subsection (c) of this section shall be included as conditions of the permit.
  5. The owner or owner's designee of property which has permanent sanitary, parking and related facilities capable of accommodating outdoor meetings or events attended by more than 500 people may apply for a long term permit for holding such meetings or events. The chief of police may issue a permit for such properties for a period of up to a maximum of five years. Such permit shall specify the maximum number of people which the property may accommodate in outdoor meetings or events without obtaining additional permit approval from the chief of police, and it shall specify the measures taken to support such number, which measures shall become conditions of the permit. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to notify the chief of police of any development which reduces the capacity of the property to accommodate the number of people specified in the permit. Further, the chief of police shall have the authority to modify or to revoke the long-term permit at any time if any term of the permit is violated or if the chief of police determines that such is consistent with public safety considerations.
  6. The issuance of a permit under this section shall in no way be construed as a determination that the planned meeting or event complies with any other requirements or provisions of law. Each permit holder shall be responsible to determine whether the planned meeting or event complies with other applicable laws or regulations.
  7. Before the permit under this section is issued, the applicant shall pay a fee of $28.20 per hour of administrative and investigative time spent in processing the application.
  8. The permit shall be obtained at least 15 days prior to the date such meeting is to be held, but the city manager shall have the authority to waive the 15-day notice.