The Goleta City Council voted this week to relocate temporary event provisions to a new chapter of the city’s code.
The provisions will now be in a section separate from the zoning ordinance.
The move will allow the city to consistently evaluate and permit temporary events and special events that meet basic health, safety and community welfare standards.
A temporary event permit will be required for: gatherings of 500 or more attendees on a privately owned active recreational facility, gatherings of 100 or more people on any nonresidential privately owned property that is not exempted and outdoor sales that meet certain conditions.
Events that are exempt include: seasonal youth leagues on privately owned recreation facilities, events pursuant to leases of city property, events accessory to allowed uses, garage sales, residential gatherings, car washes held by nonprofits and more.
“We’re only going to be as effective as we can be if we’re ahead of the curve educating the public, law enforcement and all our staff (that) has to know what the rules and regulations are to give people the right direction to allow them to do what they want to do in a safe manner,” Councilman Roger Aceves said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “I don’t want the public to think we’re overlooking a protest or any group of people that want to come and have an event … We want to make sure they do it safely so that the public is not impacted or someone gets injured.”
Councilman Kyle Richards said he thinks the change is a “great improvement” to Goleta’s current process.
“It’s not about limiting free speech — it’s about allowing free speech in a safe way,” he said.
Council members also heard an annual report from the South Coast Youth Safety Partnership and authorized Goleta as a sponsor jurisdiction, giving a little over $20,000. The presentation outlined the shooting incidents in 2021 that occurred on the South Coast and the partnership’s objectives in addressing youth violence.
The council asked for more Goleta-specific information, and staff shared that in Goleta, the partnership has maintained an average of 16 youth under probation terms, and that number has not increased. However, there wasn’t much more information specifically about Goleta in the report, which council members expressed concern with.
Mr. Aceves voted against the motion providing $20,000 to the organization, saying that while he’s thankful none of the shooting events have occurred in Goleta, he wants to see a better picture of the issues in the city and numbers that assist the partnership in bringing nonprofits together.
“Your responsibility is to make sure your various members respond to the issues in the communities,” he said. “… I would hope that at some point, you come back to us with what our constituents want to know. They see it, but they want to hear it from you as to what we’re doing.”
Mayor Pro Tempore James Kyriaco mentioned that the South Coast Youth Safety Partnership is a regional effort and regional numbers show that in terms of youth violence, “everything’s not just better, but everything’s a lot better.”
“Obviously, we need to have newer data and Goleta-specific data, but this is an interconnected regional community and the person who commits a shooting a mile from Goleta’s borders might get arrested in Goleta’s borders,” he said. “Ultimately, our fates will all rise and fall together, and I think it’s important we stay in this together.”