Local businesses no longer will have to pay a $200 fee for a small sidewalk sale or other minor activities on their property under a change to the city’s event fee program approved by the West Hollywood City Council last night.
The change, proposed by the city’s Economic Development Department, affects only those events related to the main use of the business and that take place on its private property.
“Business activity that extends into the public realm, for example, valet service, step and repeats, or amplified music will be required to apply for other permits such as an encroachment permit, or valet permit,” the department said in a memo describing its proposed changes. “Outdoor events, designed to attract large crowds, display or exhibit type of events as well as outdoor sales events held on private property will still require a special event permit and will fall under either a minor special event or major special event.”
There still will be a variety of fees charged to producers of major events such as the L.A. Pride parade and festival, the L.A. Marathon and the Halloween Carnaval, and minor events such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar party and the HBO Emmy Awards party. A basic fee for a major event is $2,500 to $7,500 and for a minor event is $1,000 to $1,500 with additional fees for using city property and requiring the closure of city streets. Non-profit organizations get a 50% discount.
Unfortunately the LA County Fire department now charges a fee to review a special event permit with a cost of $321. So yes its great the city reduced the fees however local businesses are seeing an increase due to the fire department fees. A simple 3 hour cocktail party would see almost $1000 in fees to the fire department, this is for the on site inspector and permitting fees. Maybe the city should be revisiting the County Fire contract?
Bravo, City Council! Very smart move. $200 is pennies to a large business, but can really impact day-to-day decisions for a small business. Small businesses make up over 70% of businesses in the region. Let’s make it easier for us small guys to thrive.
Thank you for passing a proposal that is pro-small business.