AUSTIN (KXAN) -
Big events like South by Southwest get a lot of attention. But hundreds of smaller scale events are happening all the time around Austin. Right now the city's ordinance for permitting special events--big or small--is the same across the board.
"Right now a block party has the same requirements as SXSW, so they really need to be a little different processes," said Gordon Derr, the Assistant Director of the Austin Transportation Department.
Those kind of event applications go through the transportation department because they involve road closures. The department wants to make some changes to the city's special events ordinance to get away from the one-size-fits all approach.
Also, as the city grows and tourism surges, the number of events does too.
"Our fall and spring are pretty full right now," said Derr, "You know, there's six to eight events just about every weekend."
According to the transportation department, in 2012 there were 136 street event applications, 20 of which were new or one-time events. And there were 227 total event days in 2012.
Derr says the city could provide a consolidated permit online that's faster and easier for some of the smaller events.
"It would tell them the exact things they're required to do," said Derr, "Do they just talk to the special events officer, do they need the music office, do they need fire, do they need to get police involved?"
Right now, the city wants your input and ideas. They've got survey and discussion online for modifying the special events ordinance.
The transportation department hopes to have ordinance changes prepared to take to Boards and Commissions by June, and then take to City Council.
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