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Mayor seeks ways to make event permitting less painful

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed wants to make it easier for event organizers to obtain permits for parades, street fairs and neighborhood block parties.

Breed issued an executive order Friday establishing the Special Events Steering Committee to be co-chaired by the city administrator and Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The committee will review the current permitting system and identify ways the process can be simplified.

In a statement, the mayor said:

“Everyone in our city should have the ability to experience arts, culture and community in their neighborhood. Our iconic street fairs, concerts, cultural events and neighborhood block parties help us to celebrate our community and make San Francisco more vibrant. We need to make it easier to put these events on, not force people to spend countless hours applying for permits.”

City officials say event permitting is not a centralized function and obtaining a permit for a major event could involve as many as eight departments with separate fees and regulations.

Several event organizers applauded Breed’s efforts, including Angie Petitt-Taylor, co-founder and producer of Sunset Mercantile and organizer of the Sunday flea market in the Inner Sunset.

In a statement, Petitt-Taylor said:

“The current number of City departments, fees and permits one must go through is confusing, daunting and cost prohibitive to the community organizers who are simply trying to bring the community together, and to the small businesses, artists and organizations hoping to connect with the community through these events.”

Members of the steering committee are expected to provide the mayor with recommendations within six months.

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