Tuesday, February 6, 2018

City Council Votes to Change Application Process for Parades, Races

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 5:36 PM

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The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday to change the way the city handles permit applications for races and parades that temporarily close down city streets.

The ordinance requires those who wish to hold races and parades on public streets to apply for a permit at least 90 days prior to the event, compared to 14 days previously. It also stipulates that applications should be submitted no sooner than 180 days before the event.

Here are three other things the ordinance sponsored by Reid Hedgepeth does:

-It distinguishes between parades, races, and other public assemblies and the registration process required for each.

-Event organizers will be mandated to send notice of the event to any residents or businesses it may affect.

-A longer application process means residents will have more avenues to oppose and appeal events; cases with heavy opposition will be decided by the city council.

One public commenter, Pamela Ruth who puts on sporting events in the city said she sees some faults in the ordinance, saying that the timeline for submitting a permit application is too short.

Large events that shut down streets, like the St. Jude Marathon, she said need more time to advertise and plan, and suggested that the ordinance give planners of those larger events extra time.

The ordinance was originally meant to apply to all public assemblies, but was limited to just parades and races after concern was expressed from some activists and organizers of marches and rallies.

In an 8 to 3 vote, council members Janis Fullilove, Joe Brown, and Martavius Jones voted no.

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