Nevada County Supervisors to regulate outdoor events |

Nevada County Supervisors to regulate outdoor events

Matthew Renda
Staff Writer

According to a new law, commercial operations hosting large gatherings, musical or otherwise, in which money exchanges hands in Nevada County will have to apply for a permit.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors narrowly passed an Outdoor Events Ordinance on a three-to-two vote (with Supervisors Ed Scofield and Terry Lamphier dissenting) that will give the Nevada County Sheriff's Office a tool when responding to community complaints regarding noise or other nuisances emitting from large gatherings.

"It simply gives us teeth if someone wants to complain," said Sheriff Keith Royal during the meeting. "If people are good neighbors, this is no big deal."

However, if residents or property owners elect to host large gatherings that serve as a nuisance to neighbors, the newly passed ordinance will give law enforcement the latitude to curtail the event and prevent similar occurrences.

"It just gives us another tool in our toolbox," Royal said.

Supervisor Ed Scofield expressed concern that the nuisance ordinance represented government overreach, saying it should have a narrower focus, keying in on the impromptu music festivals that prompted complaints that led to the consideration of the ordinance in the first place.

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Rich Ulery, former president of the Nevada County Republican Party, agreed.

"I think this ordinance could affect a homeowner that has people over for a fundraiser or a private function," Ulery said. "Subjecting them to a permitting process is ridiculous."

County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green said the permitting process as outlined in the ordinance only applies to commercial operations where a charge exists for admission to an event.

When pressed if the ordinance relates to a political or nonprofit fundraising event, Barratt-Green said the ordinance will be complaint-based, like many of the county's regulations.

"Just be good neighbors," Barratt-Green said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call 530-477-4239.

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