City Policies Block Party Policy - 9/24/19

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                      Agenda Item Review Form
                       Muskegon City Commission

Commission Meeting Date: 9/24/2019                             Title: Establish Policy and Application for Block

Submitted By: LeighAnn Mikesell                                Department: Planning

Brief Summary: Staff is seeking to establish a policy, application, and fees to allow for block parties
which close city streets. The goal is to encourage neighborhood cohesion while placing reasonable
restrictions to ensure safety and minimize risk for complaints.

Detailed Summary: To establish a block party policy, application, and associated fees.

  APPLICATION                         *Application fee may be refunded if the application is denied by the city.
  FEE                                 Application fee will not be refunded if event is cancelled by the applicant.

  CLEANING FEE                        **Will be charged to the applicant after the event if city property is not returned to its
      If required                      original condition and/or trash is left on city property.

Amount Requested: N/A                                        Amount Budgeted: N/A

Fund(s) or Account(s): N/A                                   Fund(s) or Account(s):

Recommended Motion: Approve the block party policy, application, and fees as proposed.

For City Clerk Use Only:

Commission Action:

The City of Muskegon has 15 distinct neighborhoods and encourages
neighbors to build community. Block party-type events involving the closure of
any portion of a city street require a Block Party Permit. While there are several
City departments involved in the approval process, this policy centralizes the
administration of block party events with the City’s Planning Department.

Consumption of alcohol beverages on any public property including streets, terraces, and
sidewalks is strictly prohibited.

I.     Application Submission & Fees
       Applications shall be filed with the Planning Department at least thirty (30) days prior to the
Block Party date. Applications will be accepted between April 1 and September 30 of each year for
block parties to be held in that same calendar year. Block parties will be allowed May 1 through
October 31 only. The application fee must be paid at the time the application is submitted.
       The Block Party Application fee is $50.00.
        The Application shall be submitted in writing on the appropriate form. The application fee
must be paid at the time of Application submission. The cleaning fee, if applicable, must be paid
within 30 days of the invoice date. The CITY OF MUSKEGON BLOCK PARTY APPLICATION form
can be found on the City’s website at, or you may call 231.724.6702 to have
one mailed/e-mailed to you, or visit the Planning Department on the 2nd floor of City Hall, Monday –
Friday from 8:30 am. until 5:00 p.m. excluding holidays.

II.    Block Party Application Processing
       (a) Application Intake. Planning Department staff shall be responsible for intake of Block
Party Applications and dissemination to appropriate City staff for review and approval. The
application fee and signed Block Party Petition must be submitted with the application.
       (b) Approval. The City will issue an approval or denial no later than 20 days after the
application date whenever possible. You will be provided with a signed, approved permit which you
should keep available during the block party. Any approval is granted for the date and time specified
only. No alternate dates or times are permitted without submitting an additional application and fee.
        (c) Application Denial. Where City staff reviews an Application and denies same, it shall
state in writing the reasons for the denial.
        (d) Unpaid Invoices Due the City. Any past due fees/invoices owed to the City may result in
denial of the application and/or future requests.

III.   Event Requirements
All permittees must adhere to the following rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in the
applicant being held responsible for any damages and/or denial of future applications.
         (a) Applicant. The applicant must reside on the block and is responsible for the event
including obtaining and returning barricades, set up and removal of barricades, cleanup of the public
right of way, and maintaining a 10-foot wide clear lane for emergency vehicles.
      (b) General Conditions. The Block Party may take place during daylight hours only. No
admission fees may be charged. Entertainment must not interfere with neighbors who do not live on
the block. All participants must comply with all local, state, and federal laws, codes, and regulations.
No parked or moving vehicles shall be located within the venue during the event. Block Party
applications will be considered once per year per block. The city limits Block Parties to five per year
per neighborhood.
        (c) Block Party Petitions. All residents on the block must be contacted before the application
is submitted. For multi-unit dwellings/apartments, each unit must be contacted. At least 51% of the
residents on the block must be in favor of the party and must complete and sign the “Block Party
Petition” form.
       (d) Street Closure. Block parties may only be held on local streets approved by the City
Engineer. Only one block may be closed for one day for each Block Party. The street must be
accessible to emergency vehicles and personnel at all times. No block parties will be approved on
major streets or bus routes. Approved special events, planned road work, and other factors will be
considered when reviewing applications. The applicant must make access arrangements for
businesses and residents on the street to be closed, and all sidewalks must remain open for public
use. Barricades may be put in place to close streets up to 2 hour(s) prior to start of event, to allow for
set-up. The street must be clean, free of equipment, and restored to public access with the
barricades removed within one hour of the conclusion of the Block Party.
        (e) Barricades. City-owned barricades are to be used for all street closures. No other items
can be used to block the street. Barricades must be used during daylight hours only, and must be
easily removed for access by emergency vehicles. The applicant must pick up and return barricades
to the Department of Public Works, 1350 E. Keating Avenue. Costs to replace or repair any damaged
barricades will be invoiced to the applicant.
         (f) Damages. The city reserves the right to charge the applicant for costs relating to damages
to city property and/or equipment.
        (g) Inflatables. Inflatables, tents, and other items requiring staking are strictly prohibited on
city property, including the roadway, sidewalks, and terraces (the area between the street and
        (h) Site Clean-up and Trash Disposal. The Applicant shall be responsible for clean-up of
City property after the event. This includes the removal of trash from the site (do not leave full trash
cans on site). The City shall have the right to enforce cleanup measures, including but not limited to
entry and cleaning of property by City personnel with costs charged to the property owner or event
applicant. The fee for clean-up done by city personnel is $60.00 per hour.
       (i) Noise. Block Party participants must comply with the city’s noise ordinance. Applicants
are instructed to be particularly mindful of parties near churches, schools, hospitals, and other
properties more sensitive to noise.
       (j) Liability Insurance. The applicant must provide proof of $300,000 liability insurance
coverage naming the City of Muskegon as an additional insured. You may use an insurance agent of
your choice. Please inform your insurance agent that the wording on the certificate must read:
       “The City of Muskegon, all elected and appointed officials, all employees and volunteers, all
       boards, commissions and/or authorities and board members, including employees and
       volunteers thereof; it is understood and agreed that by naming the City of Muskegon as
       additional insured, coverage afforded is considered to be primary and any other insurance the
       City of Muskegon may have in effect shall be considered secondary and/or excess.”

An acceptable certificate of insurance must be submitted no later than 10 days before the event date.
       (k) Compliance with all regulations. Block Party applicants/organizations are responsible to
ensure that all applicable laws and ordinances are followed. Failure to comply with all city ordinances,
rules and regulations may result in the denial of future block party requests.


                        * BEFORE *
  1. Review the City’s “Block Party Policy”.
  2. Make sure your proposed location is not on a restricted
     street (no major streets or bus routes).
  3. Contact an insurance agent to obtain a liability insurance
     policy covering your event.
  4. Contact all neighbors on the affected block and obtain the
     required signatures on the “Block Party Petition”
  5. Complete the “Block Party Application”.
  6. Visit the Planning Department in City Hall (room 202) to
     submit the application, fee, signed petition, and proof of
     liability insurance.

You will be notified of application approval or denial within 20
                 days of application submission

  7. Pick up barricades from the Department of Public Works
     building at 1350 E Keating Ave. between 9:00 AM and
     3:00 PM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
     Note that they are not open on Saturday or Sunday!

                        * DURING *
  1. Have your signed/approved Block Party Permit available
  2. Make sure no vehicles are parked in the block party area
  3. Set up barricades at both ends of the block – you may set
     out barricades up to 2 hours before event start time.
  4. Maintain a 10-foot clear lane for emergency vehicles

                         * AFTER *
  1.   Make sure all trash is picked up and removed from
       the area
  2.   Remove street barricades
  3. Return barricades to Department of Public Works building

An application is required for any Block Party using City property. The application and fee must be submitted
to the City of Muskegon Planning Department at least 30 days prior to the Block Party.

    Return completed application with payment to the City of Muskegon Planning Department,
       P.O. Box 536, 933 Terrace St., Muskegon, MI 49443-0536. Telephone: 231.724.6702

                                           *Application fee may be refunded if the application is denied by the city.
 APPLICATION FEE                 $50*       Application fee will not be refunded if event is cancelled by the applicant.

 CLEANING FEE                              **Will be charged to the applicant after the event if city property is not returned to its
                            $60/hour**      original condition and/or trash is left on city property.
      If required


                                                                   Must be between May 1 and October 31
                                        START:                                      END:
                                                              Start and end times must be during daylight hours

                                        STREET NAME:
   (limited to one block only)
                                        STREET NAME:





                                          Representative must be on site and available during event hours

APPLICANT(S) voluntarily agree, understand and recognize that participants will have no right to make a
claim or file a lawsuit against the City arising out of the use of City property.

Use of City facilities is at your own risk, with participants exercising his/her own free choice to participate
voluntarily in this activity, and participants assume responsibility for any and all such risks and dangers.

Page | 1
           1. Applicant shall comply with all rules and regulations of the City of Muskegon Block Party Policy.

           2. Applicant shall comply with all City of Muskegon Ordinances.

           3. Applicant shall save the City of Muskegon harmless from all claims.

           4. At least 51% of the residents on the block must be in favor of the party and must sign the petition.

           5. City property will be left clean and free of litter. Failure of the applicant to satisfactorily clean the
               site may result in the City cleaning the site and billing the applicant for its services.

           6. The City reserves the right to deny changes to the application once final approval is given.

           7. Failure to provide any requested information in a timely manner or providing false information may
               result in denial or revocation of the block party permit.

With my signature, I certify that I have read and agree to the City of Muskegon Block Party Policy
and all items listed on this application. I further certify that I have contacted all households
and/or businesses on the affected block and have obtained their signatures on the Block Party
Petition form which is included with this application.

I agree to abide by all applicable ordinances & regulations.

      Signature of Applicant                                   Date

                   Thank you for helping us help you make your event safe and successful.

       Block party application submission

   _____ City of Muskegon Block Party Application
   _____ $50 application fee
   _____ Block Party Petition with neighbor signatures
   _____ Copy of Liability Insurance Policy


   Approved by:

   ___________________________________________________________________                   ________________________
   Name                                                                                  Date


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                                          City of Muskegon
                                 BLOCK PARTY PETITION

                                            Must be between May 1 and October 31
                                 START:                                  END:
                                           Start and end times must be during daylight hours

                                 STREET NAME:
   (limited to one block only)
                                 STREET NAME:

We, the undersigned, have been notified that the applicant(s) listed above is/are organizing a block
party to be held on the street I/we live on. By signing this petition, I/we indicate that we are not opposed
to the event and understand that that the street listed above will be closed to vehicular traffic during the
times of the party shown above.
Printed name & signature of block resident                                        Address

1.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

2.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

3.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

4.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

5.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

6.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

7.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

8.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

9.________________________________________________________ _____________________________

10._______________________________________________________ _____________________________

11._______________________________________________________ _____________________________

12._______________________________________________________ _____________________________

13._______________________________________________________ _____________________________

14._______________________________________________________ _____________________________

Use back of sheet for additional signatures if necessary.

If you have concerns about the City of Muskegon approving this block party or if you have questions about the
          block party permitting process, please contact the Planning Department at (231) 724-6702.

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