Commission to approve fee structure for Traverse City parks

Those wishing to use Traverse City parks for events may see a change in fee structure.

The City Commission discussed the draft policy and fee concept at its October meeting. Some changes have been made since then to the proposed fees. The measure will be voted on at the Commission meeting tonight.

The new policy establishes two types of events; high impact and low impact events.

A high impact event is one that has any of the following elements: use of city personnel is requested or required, there is commercial or for-profit financial benefit, significant infrastructure such as tents or stages, and/or if alcohol is sold.

A low impact even is one that has none of the elements listed above.

The draft also regulates the frequency of high impact events. Except for the Open Space, other parks may have one high impact even that is more than three days in duration. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Open Space may have one high impact event that is more than three days in duration, in addition to the Cherry Festival and Film Festival.

Two high impact events are allowed in a given park per month, and those events may coincide with another event if it is mutually agreed in writing to share the park.

Under the new policy, all low impact events would be approved administratively, as would all high impact events which are three days or less. However, the Commission could take action to require that it approve a high impact event that would otherwise be approved administratively.

Currently, the city does not charge for park usage, other than some Police and Fire overtime, if necessary. In the new plan, parks are divided into tiers and will dictate charges based on the park, the organization using the park, and the type of event.

The committee identified they wanted a maximum first day fee of $400 for the tier one parks like the Open Space and Hickory Hills. It was also decided to base the price on for profit vs.. not for profit organizations. There will also be a $500 fee per event if alcohol is sold at the event.

Here is a itemized list of fees:

Low Impact Events:

Low Impact Event Permit (where no city services are needed) No fee

All other low impact event permits (city residents) $15

All other low impact event permits (non-city resident) $25

High Impact Event Application & Reservation Fees:

High impact event application - charitable non-profit $25

High impact event application - all others $200

High impact reservation fee $200