City cracks down on event permit process

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In early May, many downtown business owners say they were surprised to find streets closed down for 12 hours without having been notified.

The 12-hour street closures were the result of a two-hour National Day of Prayer event.

Downtown business owners say they were not given any notice and the inconvenience for their vendors and customers led to a loss of sales.

Council member Andrae Gonzales asked the City Manger's office to make improvements to the process in which event organizers work with the city to close down streets.

The City Manager's office has since put out a new event permit process.

Event organizers will now be asked to consider other appropriate venues like public parks before filing a permit to close down streets.

Organizers will also have to gather signatures from businesses that will be impacted by the street closures 14 days before their event.

When one or more businesses will be impacted by the street closures, event organizers  will have to notify the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.

Gonzales said the city will also be more strict when it comes to organizers planning for public restrooms and parking.

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