Requirements for Special Events
If an event is going to use unstabilized or dirt parking areas, entrances, roadways or any other unstabilized surface, Pinal County Air Quality will, at a minimum, require that reasonable precautions be taken to prevent fugitive dust. Reasonable precautions include, but are not limited to, having a water truck available, treating dirt areas with a chemical stabilizer or preventing people from accessing unstabilized areas. Additional dust control requirements will apply for construction projects that include improvements such as grading out new parking areas, installing utilities or building structures. Events that plan on allowing or having campfires or bonfires will also be subject to certain restrictions and permitting requirements.
§4-2-020 through 4-2-050: Fugitive Dust
Fugitive dust are particles lifted into the air caused by man-made and natural activities such as the movement of soil, vehicles, equipment, blasting, and wind. Fugitive dust is emitted into the air by activities that disturb the soil, such as earthmoving and vehicular/equipment traffic on unpaved surfaces.
All events that are using an unstabilized surface (i.e. dirt parking areas, entrances and roadways) must:
Pinal County Air Quality will review the form and discuss the control measures that will be required with the event coordinator. Generally, dirt parking areas and dirt roads leading to the event will have to be watered and or stabilized in some manner.
§4-3-060 through 4-3-090: Construction Site Fugitive Dust
If the event organizers plan on developing or improving the event grounds by grading off new parking areas, putting in additional roads, laying utility lines, constructing new or temporary buildings, or other such activities the project may require a dust registration (PDF). If the property improvement project disturbs more than 0.1 acre of surface area the project coordinator or property owner must obtain a dust registration. A permit fee of $75 to $2000 will be assessed depending on the number of acres disturbed and the applicant must commit to dust controls measures that will be implemented during the project.
§3-8-700 through 3-8-710: Open Burning
Events that plan on having any type of open burning are subject to certain limitations and requirements.
At no time can household or commercial waste be burned. Generally only raw plant material can be burned. Campfires are allowed without a permit as long as they are 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
All bonfires require a no cost burn permit and must be sponsored by a city, town, county statutory district or other political subdivision.
A burn permit is required for fires set for the disposal of landscape waste and these fires must be conducted during the allowable burn times of 8 am to 4 pm April 1 through September 30, or 9 am to 4:30 pm October 1 through March 31.
Burning may be banned via burn permit suspensions, fire district / department burn bans, or statutory requirements annually from approximately May 1st through September 30th.
If any part of your event is located on Arizona State Trust Land or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property, you will be required to procure the necessary permits through the departments of these entities. If you are not sure whether or not your event is on State Trust or BLM land, please contact either the Special Event Coordinator (email the Special Event Coordinator) or one of the following offices.
If your event is located on Arizona State Trust Land, just be aware that this is not considered public land, and you will be required to obtain a recreational permit for your event, and possibly other permits from this department depending on the nature of your event.
If your event is located on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, it is wise to contact this office to make sure you are not required to have a recreational permit, or that there are no restrictions in the area of interest for your event.
It is very important that you respect our State and Nationally managed open spaces since these vast areas are used by many animals, protected and otherwise, as well as citizens and visitors to the United States. These special lands must be treated with great care, and preserved as natural desert, wetlands, or mountainous regions in order to protect the integrity of our beautiful natural Arizona environment. Please leave the land just as you found it, or better yet, leave it better than you found it! Make sure all trash is removed, no land has been cleared of natural vegetation, washes have not been disturbed, hillsides are intact, and the peace and beauty of the desert remain is as if your event has never occurred in this location.
- AZ State Trust Land
- Bureau of Land Management (Arizona BLM)
If your event involves consumption of alcohol or a fireworks display, you may be required to obtain a special event liquor license or a fireworks permit (PDF) from the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. Both of these permits are separate from the Special Event permit, but must be obtained as a requirement prior to issuing the Special Event Permit.
Since a liquor license is regulated by the State of Arizona, this service is provided by the Board only. A liquor license is required any time you are serving alcohol to the public for sale. (not for a private party) If your event is already taking place at a facility that includes the serving of alcohol, but you are expanding into an outside patio for the day, you will still need an extended patio liquor license prior to receiving your Special Event permit.
Regarding fireworks, the Board also chooses to approve all fireworks displays for any events in Pinal County. Fireworks can be extremely dangerous, especially in the dry landscape conditions of our county. If you are considering shooting fireworks as part of your event, we urge you to contact the Board as soon as possible to make sure the fireworks permit may be approved in plenty of time for the Special Event permit.
One question you need to ask yourself during the planning stage for your special event, is what kind of structures or small buildings will you construct or use for your activity? It is very important to consider how buildings, stages, tents, booths, carnival rides, and even fences may require an inspection from a trained Pinal County building inspector. You certainly would not want any type of structural or electrical connection to cause harm to participants, or delay the event because of improper installation.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Will you be using any buildings or temporary structures?
- Will you have any electrical needs, such as generators, propane tanks, extension cords?
- Is there any camping on the site? For more than one day?
- Are there any tents of any kind on site, and if so, what are they made of and how large are they? Do you have any material specifications on the tents?
- Is there any on-site cooking? Any propane? Any sinks for washing? Where are your restroom facilities?
You will need to show any of these items on the site plan you submit with your Special Event application. This site plan is very important. It's the "picture" of how you will lay out your event including all structures and devices that could potentially cause harm to the public attending your event.
A special event that has 900 hundred or more known or estimated participants in a defined geographical area shall submit a Large Event Permit Application (PDF). This application is comprehensive, and replaces the previously used Emergency Contingency Plan.
Why It Is Important to Have a Special Event Emergency Contingency Plan
A Special Event is a unique situation that has the potential to develop into an emergency incident. Therefore, it is prudent for the event organizer to identify conditions that could lead to emergency situations or disasters. To minimize the effects of potential emergency incidents, a plan is required for the following reasons:
- To define the coordination of necessary emergency actions by the event organizer, the responsible county officials, and emergency responders. These coordinated actions ultimately provide for timely notification, communication, warning, and evacuation of residents or participants in the event of an emergency incident.
- To initiate emergency measures to reduce the risk of loss of life and property damage resulting from an emergency.
This new application will guide you through the thinking process for just about any potential mishap or problem which could ruin your event and cause injury to your participants, or damage to property. This document is self-explanatory and easy to use; just fill in the blanks with checks and some text in a few places. Some additional documentation will still be required, such as Food Vendor permits, Porta-John contracts, Police or security contracts, ambulance contracts, building permit, insurance, and a site plan, to name a few. This application was designed to be a one-stop application which fits the needs of most of the departments who review your event.
Please fill it out carefully, taking into consideration that this IS your emergency plan, your air quality plan, and your general event planning guide. You can print it out and fill it in at your leisure, or save it and fill it out when you get the time. It is a total of 26 pages, so don't get overwhelmed when you first see it! It is really quite simple to move through. But you will need certain critical elements of information such as numbers of emergency personnel, types of certification of emergency responders, fire safety information, parking locations, emergency exits, alcohol information, and many other items of information that would explain the type of event you are planning. This way the Emergency Management staff can make good recommendations for your event to keep it safe and successful-the ultimate goal of your event!
The Planning Department will require a site plan showing all pertinent features of your event site as well as a signed authorization form from the owner of the property on which your event takes place. The authorization form can also be a contract with the owner, an email stating that the event is allowed on the owner's property, or a written letter signed by the owner or manager of the property. (Oftentimes the owner will want to be included as an additional insured on the insurance liability certificate).
Here's a list of a few items which may be required on a site plan:
- Roads and locations of parking lots
- Porta potties
- Stages, tents, carnival rides
- Booths for vendors showing generators and propane
- Central emergency station, first aid station
- Campgrounds and shower facilities
- Train tracks
- Major washes
- Any other features which will affect the public in any way
This site plan may be used for Building Safety, Emergency Management, Public Works, the Sheriff's Department, and numerous other County Departments and outside agencies who rely on an accurate site plan to determine whether or not your event will meet requirements for safe traffic flow, equipment locations, utility locations, and many other factors.
Email the Special Event Coordinator or call 520-866-6675.
Arizona Food Code and the Pinal County Environmental Health Code define a Temporary Food Establishment as a food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration. A Temporary Food Establishment permit is only valid during the duration of the specific event. The Special Event Notification form is typically submitted by the event coordinator. This notifies the Department of an event and is used to determine if an event qualifies to allow for temporary food service.
The following are examples of events or celebrations that are typically considered for permitting of Temporary Food Establishments:
- Special Events - a transitory public gathering that takes place at a specific location for a specific purpose that is associated with a fair, carnival, parade, circus, public exhibition, holiday celebration, or trade show.
- Tasting Events - events including but not limited to wine tastings, BBQ competitions, and chili cook-off's, in which an entrance fee entitles the consumer to food service in conjunction with the event an where there is no point of sale directly at the booths.
- Grand Openings - one-time events celebrating the opening of a new business.
- Fundraisers - one-time events where funds are raised for bona-fide charitable organizations.
- Transitory Sporting Events - one-time events such as annual soccer tournaments, baseball playoffs, etc.
Temporary Food Service permits are not intended as a substitute for other food service permits for establishments that operate on persistent or ongoing basis. The following are examples of activities and/or locations to which a Temporary Food Establishment permit does not typically apply:
- A restaurant or bar
- A concession stand
- A mobile food unit, pushcart, or food peddler
- A seasonal food establishment
- A swap meet or flea market
- A farmer's market or similar public market
- A non-commercial social event such as a private party
- A potluck
Individual vendors apply via the Application for a Temporary Food Booth. This application is not typically considered unless it is in conjunction with an approved special event (see Special Event Notification above).
In order to allow adequate time for processing, complete applications should be submitted to the Department at least two weeks prior to the event. Incomplete or late application may be grounds for denial of permit.
Visit Environmental Health Services
Whenever you are impacting any county roads with your event, Public Works may require that you provide the following:
- Site map/route map of event including date and time of event
- Traffic control plan in concurrence with the latest edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Include the name and number of the person responsible for the set up and maintenance of traffic control.
- A written traffic control plan and a aerial map showing the setup of traffic control, and where all the signs and cones will be located
- Proof of insurance
- Contact information for event emergency contact
If you need to rent barricades or signage, you must do this on your own. Public Works does not loan out equipment.
Note: Pinal County does not close down county roads for special events. If you are having a parade you must make accommodations for a detour after approval by Public Works. If you are having a block party or neighborhood event, neither the Sheriff's Department nor Public Works will authorize a road closure.
Road clearing and weed removal:
Email Jim Higgenbotham
Any time an event is held in Pinal County, either on private land or public land, the public requires protection from harm. The Pinal County Risk Management Department determines the insurance requirements for a special event based on the type of event, activities, location, duration, and whether or not alcohol and fireworks are present. Insurance requirements apply to the sponsor or applicant of the event, who assumes liability for all aspects of the special event. This includes any and all potential hazards which may result in injury or death to the public and damage to property.
Two items required from the Insurance Company: (not a summary)
- Proof of insurance (insurance certificate, not the entire policy) "Pinal County" must be named as additional insured on certificate (located on the lower left hand corner of the insurance certificate)
- Signed indemnification clause (located on both the large and small event applications)
Commercial General Liability (occurrence form) including products/completed operations, premises liability and contractual liability:
- Small Event: $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 annual aggregate
- Large Event: $3,000,000 per occurrence, $6,000,000 annual aggregate
- Very Large Event: $5,000,000 per occurrence, $10,000,000 annual aggregate
Other Liability Insurance if Applicable
- Small Event: $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 annual aggregate
- Large Event: $3,000,000 per occurrence, $6,000,000 annual aggregate
- Very Large Event: $5,000,000 per occurrence, $10,000,000 annual aggregate
- Fireworks production: $3,000,000 per occurrence, $6,000,000 annual aggregate
- Carnival/amusement rides: $3,000,000 per occurrence, $6,000,000 annual aggregate
Automobile Liability Insurance (Covering any automobiles or trucks used for the event):
- $1,000,000 combined single limit including hired and non-owned auto.
Workers' Compensation Insurance:
- Statutory limits and including Employer's Liability insurance of $1,000,000 each accident, $1,000,000 each disease and $1,000,000 disease policy limits
In consideration of the approval of a Special Event Application/Permit by Pinal County, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Special Event Owner/Sponsor ("Owner") shall indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless Pinal County, its officials, agents, employees and volunteers ("County") without limitation from and against any and all claims, actions, liabilities, damages, losses, or expenses including but not limited to court costs, attorneys' fees, and costs of claim processing, investigation and litigation relating to, arising from, resulting from or alleged to have arisen or resulted from, the Special Event or caused, or alleged to have been caused, in whole or in part, by the acts or omissions of the County or Special Event Owner/Sponsor or any of their officials, owners, directors, employees, agents, contractors, subcontractors or volunteers. It is agreed that Special Event Owner/Sponsor will be responsible for primary loss investigation, defense and judgment costs where this indemnification is applicable. Special Event Owner/Sponsor agrees to waive all rights of subrogation against County for losses arising or resulting from the Special Event.
Other General Risk Management Requirements
This Special Event Application/Permit is for Pinal County property and shall not be construed as authorization for use of adjacent private or public property, grounds or land. Special Event Owner/Sponsor shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits or agreements.
Damage to Pinal County Property
Special Event Owner/Sponsor will promptly compensate or reimburse Pinal County the full amount of any damage to, or loss of use of, Pinal County buildings, facilities, grounds, lands, water or property caused by Special Event Owner/Sponsor, its officers, officials, employees, members, guests, invitees or participants. Compensation or reimbursement to Pinal County shall also include, but not limited to, restoration, clean-up, abatement, remedial action, legal fees and expenses or fines.
Damage to Special Event Owner / Sponsor Property
Pinal County shall not be responsible for loss of, damage to, or loss of use of tangible or intangible property of Special Event Owner/Sponsor, its officers, officials, employees, members, guests, invitees or participants.
Call Jerika Brannon at 520-866-7924.
The Sheriff's Department is often an integral support unit for any Special Event. Pinal County is regionalized into two areas, each with a Lieutenant or Deputy in charge. If your event requires special traffic control such as in the case of a parade, or if you anticipate large numbers of pedestrians or vehicles entering and exiting your site, it is wise to contract with the Sheriff's Department for aid in both traffic control and security. Here are some examples of when you might need to hire off-duty Officers:
- Events involving large groups of people with alcohol present
- Parades, carnivals, or recreational events utilizing public street access
- Events occurring at night
- Events involving remote locations, overnight camping, and fireworks
- Events involving fast-moving vehicles such as a motorcycle rally or motorized vehicle race
The Sheriff's Department does enforce the Noise Ordinance (PDF), which specifies certain limitations of sound, measured in decibels, in particular locations. It also states hours of operation for certain decibel levels. If your event does present a level of sound that might be bothersome to adjacent properties, it is wise to email the Special Event Coordinator or the Sheriff's Department ahead of time to make sure your event is planned properly for levels of generated "noise". Remember, one person's music may not be enjoyed by everyone in the neighborhood!
When planning to use Deputies as off-duty traffic or security personnel, make sure you contact the Lieutenant or Deputy in charge of the region in which your event is located. Pinal County Sheriff or Posse fees are quite reasonable compared to the private sector, but it is your choice as to who you use to manage the safety of your event. In any case, the Sheriff's Department may require you to maintain a certain number of qualified security guards on site, so this is a cost which should be considered in the planning stages of your event. A contract may be required for hiring of Deputies for your event.
No matter how large or small your event, safety of the public is always the number one concern. The Sheriff's Department is here to help, so please don't hesitate to ask questions of their trained staff when planning your event.
The current Executive Order from the Governor states:
Even if appropriate physical distancing is possible, organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited. The Executive Order enables local governing jurisdictions, such as the city, town or county, to approve events on the condition of meeting certain safety precautions, such as physical distancing.
Public events for more than 50 people in unincorporated Pinal County and events for more than 50 people on property owned or managed by Pinal County must obtain a Special Event Permit.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Events and Gathering packet to be submitted as part of the application.