Town Council puts brakes on eliminating special events permit on private property

Gilbert Town Council delayed on Thursday until next month any decision on a proposal to eliminate permits for special events on private property.

The council’s continuance came after hearing from a series of residents who told members about their experience with a neighbor who regularly hosts such events.

The neighbors, who live in a Circle G Ranches development between Lindsay and Val Vista roads near Baseline Road, said they want the council to keep the permits in place in an effort to combat the situation. The residents said the one home has events, such as weddings and graduation parties, every weekend. Noise, parking and traffic are a problem, they said.

“It’s a little slice of heaven,” Gilbert resident RaMar Orgeron said of her neighborhood, “except on the weekend, when it’s a little slice of Woodstock.”

While council members cautioned the residents that there is little they can do about short-term rentals, like Airbnb, the residents countered they were less concerned about those situations than the regular stream of special events.

Push to eliminate permit


Mayor Jenn Daniels had brought the idea of eliminating the permits to the council at its Oct. 18 meeting. Daniels said she was concerned about the amount of time and money that staff spent on them.

“I have a little bit of concern about when we start regulating private property,” she said after Thursday’s meeting. “We try hard not to do that, except for through zoning, and yet this is the one of those instances where we're regulating private property.”

Daniels said she thought enforcing existing regulations on items like noise and traffic should be enough to help the neighborhood with the concern on the one property.

Daniels said the neighborhood situation is not falling under a special event permit but is more governed by state laws protecting use of property for Airbnb-type rentals.

The staff report showed that eliminating the permit would reduce town revenue about $4,500 this fiscal year and $6,000 next.

The item will be considered again at the council's Dec. 6 meeting.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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