LAKE FOREST—A revised Lake Forest policy limiting the total number of special events to 90 per year will not impact major municipal functions like the holiday tree lighting but will require organizers of smaller happenings like block parties to plan further ahead.
The Lake Forest City Council unanimously agreed to schedule a final vote on the amended policy during its regularly scheduled meeting Feb. 1 at City Hall. The vote is planned for the Feb. 16 meeting.
“This will help private event organizers plan ahead and let the city see what needs to be done like a road closure further in advance,” said Mike Strong, assistant to the city manager. “It’s important to let the city know what it has to provide.”
Of the 90 occasions allowed per year, 15 are classified as A events, 35 as B and 40 as C, according to Strong. He said the A happenings involve multiple road closures, barricades, some police presence and are expected to draw crowds of more than 1,000.
Some events like the Holiday Tree Lighting and the Fourth of July Festival & Fireworks, both put on by the Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation, are exempt from applying each year, according to Strong.
“Events where the city budgets funds are exempt,” Strong said. “They are not exempt from meeting fire and safety standards.”
The other exempt events include Lake Forest Day, Santa in Market Square and the BMW Golf Championship, according to Strong. He said Art Fair on the Square, held annually on Labor Day weekend, is privately organized and mandates an annual application. The A happenings are not set in stone except those where the city officially participates.
Strong said a B event is medium sized and might require one road closed and some police presence. A C is smaller but might need barricades. He also said people will have to apply 90 days ahead of time instead of the current 60.
“We really have to look at them,” Strong said, referring to distinguishing the difference between a B and a C.
City Approves Fee Schedule
In other business, the council approved the city’s 2016 fee schedule of more than 400 items. A detailed list of the fees can be found on the city website from pages 86 to 105 of the supplemental information to the council agenda.