May 11, 2010 · Filed Under Events and News 

Fort Worth residents are encouraged to comment on a proposed special events ordinance.

A Special Events Advisory Committee – made up of Fort Worth residents, neighborhood activists and stakeholders who organize and manage special events – has been meeting for the past year to formulate new special events policies and practices that will be adopted into a city ordinance.

The proposed regulations, which have been presented to the City Council, would apply to any outdoor gathering on public or private property that attracts more than 500 attendees, requires a street to be closed, sells food or beverages, or uses tents, stages, bleachers, fireworks, open flames or portable toilets. It would also apply to parades, neighborhood events requiring the use of city streets, events in parks and some First Amendment activity.

If the ordinance is approved, the new regulations become effective Oct. 1.

Events conducted entirely on the property of a church, educational institution, college or university campus, or on property containing an occupied residence would be exempt. Additionally, events per contracts with the city or at city-owned facilities and at the Texas Motor Speedway would be exempt.

Event organizers would be required to apply to the city by a date certain in order to attend two committees – the Events Calendar Committee and the Pre-Event Committee – and must provide notice to surrounding property owners. The two committees would be in charge of scheduling events, reviewing event plans and applications. The Events Calendar Committee would include city staff and representatives from Sundance Square, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., the Cultural District and the Stockyards. The Pre-Event Committee would include representatives from The T, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. A designated employee from the city’s Public Events Department will serve as the special events manager to coordinate the process.

A separate committee is studying fees associated with special event permits and will make a recommendation to the City Council at a later date.

On June 7, the Special Events advisory Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Botanic Garden Center Lecture Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

Additionally, the City Council will conduct a public hearing at its meeting on June 15 to consider adoption of the ordinance. 

You can view the complete ordinance at events. A video of a City Council presentation on the proposed ordinance is on the site also. 

To provide feedback, send e-mail to

Additional information from Ryan Place Neighborhood Association….regarding City of Fort Worth Proposed Special Event Ordinance 

Last month the Special Event Advisory Committee presented a proposed Special Event Ordinance to the City Council.  The committee has been working on the proposed ordinance for a year, and it is available for public review on the City’s website.  The ordinance governs City events (downtown, northside, etc.) neighborhood events, parades, runs/walks, events planned by individuals on public land, and depending on the size of the event on private property.

Below are some of the requirements and regulations from the proposed ordinance that would govern neighborhood events IF the ordinance is passed as written:

  • Application and Permit Fees;
    • Fee amounts have not been made public.
  • Neighborhood Event shall be limited to no more than four hours.
  • An unobstructed roadway width as required by the most current Fire Code must be maintained along the closed sections of the streets. No Neighborhood Event Permit shall be granted when the closure would result in denying prompt access to an area or location for emergency vehicles.
    • This limits a block party to one lane width.
  • No structures, including barbeque grills, tents, and picnic tables are allowed in the public right-of-way (streets, sidewalk, or parkway).
    • The current “block party” permit, that is used for our events, does not have the above restrictions.
  • No admission fees shall be charged.
    • This would prohibit neighborhood associations from raising neighborhood improvement funds.
  • Be in possession of any alcoholic beverage at an Event located on public property, unless the alcoholic beverage was purchased or otherwise obtained from an authorized vendor of the Event.
    • Residents will not be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages.
  • An Applicant for a permit to hold an Event where alcohol is to be sold must provide to the Special Events Manager a Certificate of Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 as liquor liability insurance, in addition to the requirement in the below Section.
  • An Applicant must provide to the Special Events Manager a Certificate of Commercial General Liability Insurance listing the City of Fort Worth as an additional named insured in the amounts prescribed by the Risk Manager or designee.
    • The insurance requirements would place a financial burden on the neighborhood’s limited funds.
  • A plan detailing how the Applicant will prevent consumption of  alcohol by minors and promote responsibility in consumption and sales. The plan shall include signage at the point of sale; approved alcohol retail awareness training or seller server certification provided to persons involved in the sales/distribution of alcoholic beverages and designated driver program.

In addition, the police and fire departments will review all event applications and if they feel that their presence is necessary the neighborhood is required to comply and pay the salary for those City service present during the event.


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