Your insightful glimpse at the county’s planning process for temporary events and other land uses (“Rural fervor”, May 9, concerning Green Gate Farms) raised a perplexity: How is it that your reporter readily understood the ordinance provision exempting an event from the permit requirement only if admission is free and run by a nonprofit when County Planning does not understand?
As your article points out, individual county planners interpret the event regulation differently. Despite knowing that the planning department does not implement the events ordinance, the Board of Supervisors has not become engaged in determining whether particular types of events are exempt from the permit requirement and whether they should have enforcement priority to protect public welfare and safety.
In the vicinities of Avila and Santa Margarita, residents are subject to ever larger and more numerous events, nonprofit and for-profit. For-profit and nonprofit event impacts are identical. Events have occasionally created hazards in terms of traffic circulation for emergency access and have caused significant noise detriment to residents within several miles.
Historically, County Planning understood that nonprofit events require permits when admission is charged, and that all for-profit events require permits. Although enforcement was spotty, at best, more recent code enforcement requests for unpermitted for-profit events have received no action or response from the planning department. Those in the vicinity of Green Gate Farms should not be comforted by county event regulations, since non-enforcement is assured.