Skip to code content (skip section selection)
No person, business, or organization shall conduct Special Events – Outdoor Activity or Special Events – Flags and Banners without having first applied for and obtained a special event permit pursuant to this section.
.010 “Special Events–Outdoor Activity”. Any event, promotion or sale sponsored by a business, shopping center or organization, or as a fundraiser for a school or other charitable non-profit organization, which is held outside the confines of a building but on the same property, whether or not a business license is required, and which may include (or be limited to) the outdoor display of merchandise, the display of temporary signs, flags, banners or fixed balloons, or rides, games, booths or similar amusement devices, whether or not a fee or admission is charged for such event. The display of temporary signs, flags, banners or fixed balloons may be permitted as accessory to the outdoor activity. The following types of events are also considered a “Special Event–Outdoor Activity”:
.0101 Christmas tree lot or pumpkin patch.
.0102 Carnivals and Circuses. All temporary carnivals and circuses are subject to the provisions of Chapter 3.32 (Miscellaneous Business Activities), including Section 3.32.030 (Circuses/Carnivals), of Title 3 (Business Licenses) and Section 18.38.095 (Carnivals and Circuses) of Title 18 (Zoning Code) of the Anaheim Municipal Code.
.020 “Special Events–Flags and Banners”. The outdoor display of temporary signs, flags, banners or fixed balloons for the promotion of business activities that will be conducted within a building. The following types of banners are also considered Special Events – Flags and Banners:
.0201 Grand Opening Banners.
.0202 Seasonal Banners.
.0203 Service-Bay Banners.
.0204 Public Construction Project Banners.
.0205 Special Event - Flags or Banners in Residential Zones.
.0206 Banners in conjunction with a Business Name Change.
.030 Exceptions. The following are not subject to a special event permit:
.0301 Traditional non-commercial holiday decorations; provided that the decorations do not contain advertising and comply with all applicable City Fire Codes.
.0302 The display of the flag of a nation, state, county or city or any official flag or banner of any bona fide religious or fraternal organization; provided, however, that no more than three such flags or banners shall be displayed at the same time at any single location within the City. The display of a business flag as defined in Section 18.44.030.085 may be permitted as one of the three flags subject to the provisions set forth in Section 18.44.065 (Business Flag) of Chapter 18.44 (Signs).
.0303 Private occasional parties which are not open to the public.
.040 Location - Special Events – Outdoor Activity. Special Events – Outdoor Activity may be allowed, subject to a special event permit, in the following locations:
.0401 Any property where the use is one for which a conditional use permit has been issued authorizing a use which is permitted or conditionally permitted in any commercial zone;
.0402 Any public or private elementary, junior high or senior high school;
.0403 Any location that has a conditional use permit for community and religious assembly.
.0404 For Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches, any commercial zone, “T” (Transition) Zone or “I” (Industrial Zone).
.0405 For Carnivals and Circuses, locations identified in Section 18.38.095 (Carnivals and Circuses) of this Chapter.
.0406 For auto dealerships adjacent to a freeway that is over five (5) acres in size, the following special events may be permitted in locations approved by the Planning Services Division outside of landscaped setbacks, visitor parking areas and vehicular line of sight triangles:
.01 One weekend outdoor event each month.
.02 One canopy/tent to be erected for a period of one month, four times per year.
.03 One ground-mounted inflatable to be displayed for a period of one month, four times per year.
.04 Non-metallic balloons on displayed vehicles for sale.
.05 “Snow cone” banners with sign copy, or other merchandising material on light standards within vehicle display areas and light standards along the perimeter landscaping of each site.
.06 One banner with a maximum size of 120 square feet on each building elevation.
.0407 Center Street Promenade. Special events on Center Street Promenade between Anaheim Boulevard and Harbor Boulevard shall be processed in accordance with the application requirements listed in 18.38.240.
.01 Special events on Center Street Promenade are not limited to the events or requirements listed in 18.38.240 and are subject to approval of the Planning and Building Director.
.050 Location–Special Events–Flags and Banners. Special Events–Flags and Banners may be allowed in any commercial zone; in any industrial zone subject to compliance with the provisions of subsection 18.38.240.070.0702; and, in any residential zone, in conjunction with the sale, rent, or lease of residential units, in compliance with the provisions of subsection 18.38.240.070.0702.11.
.060 Duration. Special events permits shall be permitted for the following time periods:
.0601 Special Event–Outdoor Activity and Special Events–Flags and Banners. Unless otherwise expressly permitted by this Code, no special event permit shall be issued for a period in excess of nine (9) consecutive calendar days. No business or organization shall be issued more than four (4) special event permits during any calendar year. Multiple addresses for one business shall not be utilized in order to acquire additional special event permits beyond the four (4) per year allowed. Change of business ownership at an address shall not automatically entitle the new business owner to additional special event permits beyond the four (4) per year allowed.
.0602 Christmas Tree Lots and Pumpkin Patches. The sale or disposition of Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins shall expire on the 7th day of January of the year immediately following the Christmas or Halloween for which the permit was approved and issued. For lots that are solely used for pumpkin sales, the permit shall expire ten (10) business days after Halloween.
.0603 Carnivals and Circuses shall be permitted for a period of time as identified in Section 18.38.095.
.070 Regulations for Conduct of a Special Event.
.0701 Special Events – Outdoor Activity.
.01 Permitted Sales. The sale and display of products shall be directly related to the business located on the same property and said products shall constitute a minimum of twenty five percent (25%) of the total gross receipts of the business.
.02 Parking lots. If use of a parking area is intended, a site plan showing parking and fire lanes shall be submitted to determine that any use of the parking area serving the principal land use is not reduced below the parking reasonably required for such principal land use. Activities located in a parking area shall not obstruct any Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required paths of travel, including market walkways, and/or parking stalls. The site plan shall indicate the area proposed for the special event, including any area for installation or storage of all equipment. Special events are not permitted in or on parking structures.
.03 Height. No structure or amusement device or any fixed balloon shall exceed fifty (50) feet in height as measured from finished grade.
.04 Structures. Prior to erection of any structures, including tents and structures for amusement devices and rides, approval must be obtained from various City departments and divisions including, but not limited to, the Building Division, the Fire Department, and the Electrical Engineering Division (if the use of electricity is proposed). All applicable regulations shall be complied with. Rides, amusement devices or concessions shall not be put into operation until approved by the Fire Department and the Electrical Engineering Division.
.05 Temporary Living Quarters. Temporary living quarters or other temporary structures to provide security for the special event, such as trailers, vans, or motorhomes may be permitted on the premises solely at the discretion of the Planning Director, and shall be subject to inspection and approval of the Fire Department, Building Division and the Electrical Engineering Division to assure compliance with requirements of all related codes.
.06 Hours of Operation. The conduct of any special event (other than the display of temporary signs, flags, banners and fixed balloons) shall be confined to the hours when the business establishment or shopping center is normally open for business, and in no event shall the special event be operated before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. Outdoor activities that may adversely affect adjacent or nearby uses will not be permitted.
.07 Music. Live or amplified music shall comply with Anaheim Municipal Code Chapter 6.70 (Sound Pressure Levels) and shall not cause disturbance to surrounding uses.
.08 Signs. Outdoor events are permitted to display one sign advertising the outdoor event. Said sign shall be removed at the conclusion of the special event.
.0702 Special Events–Flags and Banners.
.01 Height. No fixed balloon shall exceed fifty (50) feet in height as measured from finished grade.
.02 Balloons. Metallic balloons, feather or sail-type banners, household linens utilized as banners, and roof-mounted banners and roof-mounted balloons and inflatables are prohibited.
.03 Location. All flags and banners that are visible to the public shall be subject to this section and shall at all times be maintained in good and attractive condition and removed prior to deterioration. Unless otherwise regulated by the following subsections, banners shall not be displayed in a required setback area, in any landscape area or on any fence and must be attached to and parallel with the face of the building for which the banner is intended and secured at all four corners of the banner.
.04 Size. The maximum area per banner shall be thirty-six (36) square feet.
.05 Number. The maximum number of banners permitted is one per street frontage.
.06 Grand Opening Banners. Grand opening banners for new businesses may be allowed, subject to a special event permit. These banners may be displayed for thirty (30) days in connection with a new structure or operation of a new business. Not more than one (1) banner is allowed per street frontage or one (1) per elevation, limited to a maximum of two (2) on the property. A grand opening banner permit does not count toward the annual limit of special event permits regulated by subsection 18.38.240.030.
.07 Promotional Banners. Promotional banners advertising sales and promotions may be allowed, subject to a special event permit.
.08 Seasonal Banners. Seasonal pageantry banners with no advertising may be allowed, subject to a special event permit, provided they are mounted on light poles within shopping centers that have a minimum of one thousand (1,000) parking spaces, or two hundred thousand (200,000) square feet of business space. The banners shall be mounted in a vertical alignment with an area no greater than six (6) square feet, with no more than one banner per pole, except that two (2) banners may be on one pole if their total area is not greater than (6) square feet. Seasonal banner displays shall be limited to fourteen (14) days maximum at any one time, and no more than four (4) times per year. Banners may include decorative designs and or the name of the commercial center, but shall not include the name of any individual business or product.
.09 Service-Bay Banners. Banners across service bays in auto repair facilities, service stations, and similar uses require a special event permit if visible to the public right-of-way. The maximum area per banner shall be twenty-four (24) square feet.
.10 Public Construction Project Banners. A banner may be allowed, subject to a special event permit, for a commercial retail business in any zone where the applicant for such permit can demonstrate that a public road or utility construction project has had the effect of blocking visibility to permanent signage identifying the business and/or vehicular access to said business. Approval of the permit shall be subject to the following provisions:
(a) The permit shall be limited to one (1) banner, not to exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area;
(b) The banner shall advertise only the name of the business and, if the public project has blocked vehicular access, directions for access to the business;
(c) The banner shall be removed upon removal of barriers blocking visibility and/or vehicular access; and
(d) Only one (1) special event permit is required for the duration of the construction project.
.11 Special Event–Flags or Banners in Residential Zones. Special Event–Flags or Banners are permitted in all residential zones , subject to a special event permit, provided such display shall be limited to advertising the sale of residential units in subdivisions and the rent or lease of apartment units and all such displays are located subject property. The display shall be subject to the following provisions.
(a) Duration of Permits.
(1) Apartment buildings containing five or more units are eligible for Special Events–Flags and Banners for one three-day weekend, Friday through Sunday, for a total of twelve (12) permits per calendar year, to promote the availability of rental units, subject to the approval of a special event permit. There shall be a minimum of three (3) weeks between Special Events–Flags and Banners permits for apartments.
(2) The initial sale of new homes or condominiums, or the initial rent or lease of new apartments are permitted to display flags and banners for up to six (6) months from the date of issuance,. A total of four (4) permits may be granted to advertise new for-sale residential tracts and new condominium complexes; and a total of one (1) permit may be granted to advertise new rental apartment complexes.
(b) Display. The display shall be subject to the following provisions.
(1) No more than ten (10) total flags shall be permitted or displayed for any such project or development. No flag shall exceed twelve (12) square feet in area or six (6) feet in any one dimension.
(2) One banner per building elevation facing a public or private street, or parking lot serving the development, shall be permitted for apartment or condominium projects. The maximum area for a banner is 0.5 square feet per lineal foot of building frontage facing the street or seventy-five (75) square feet per building elevation, whichever is less.
(3) All flags and banners shall be placed on ground-mounted poles not exceeding twenty (20) feet in height or, if attached to a building, shall not exceed the height of the highest portion of that building. Flags and banners shall not be placed on the roof.
.12 Banner in conjunction with a Tent. A single banner may be placed on a tent authorized by a special event permit, provided such banner is not placed on top of the tent.
.13 Banners in conjunction with a Business Name Change. Banners shall be allowed by special event permit for the covering of a permanent sign with a banner in the event of a business name or ownership change during the interim period when a new permanent sign has not been installed. Such banners shall be permitted for a period of no longer than sixty (60) days and shall not count towards the annual limit of special event permits regulated by subsection 18.38.240.060.
.0703 Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches.
.01 Signs. One event sign may be permitted in conjunction with the Christmas tree lot or pumpkin patch and remain on the property for the duration of the special event.
.02 Equipment. There shall be maintained in each premises within which Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins are sold or offered for sale a fire extinguisher in good order and condition and of a water type approved by the Chief of the Fire Department.
.03 Operator. A person of at least eighteen years of age shall be on duty at all times during the sale or disposition of Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins and all sales shall be made from the premises.
.04 Site. The premises shall not be established until adequate parking has been provided for the use of the customers of such premises. Such parking provisions shall not result in the creation of dust conditions.
.05 Security. If guards or watchmen are provided for the purpose of watching Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins on any premises, such guards or watchmen shall be at least eighteen years of age.
.06 Sanitation. Temporary sanitary facilities may be provided by the permittee for the use of guards, watchmen and other persons connected with the sale or disposition of such Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins, remaining on the premises. Such sanitary facilities shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Public Works.
.07 Temporary Structures. Provisions may be made by the permittee for the placement of temporary structures, house trailers or tents on the premises for the use of the permittee or his agents. No such temporary structure, house trailer or tent shall be permitted on the premises unless the same shall have been expressly approved by the Building Division.
.08 Inspections. For Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches, after the approval of said permit and upon the establishment of such premises, the Fire Department shall inspect said premises to insure said premises are in all respects in conformity with the provisions of Title 16 of the Anaheim Municipal Code. If the inspection reveals that said premises do not conform to the aforementioned provisions of the Anaheim Municipal Code, such premises shall not be operated for the purpose of the temporary sale or disposition of Christmas trees or Halloween pumpkins until such time as said premises do conform to such provisions.
.09 Clean Up Required. In order to insure that all areas used for Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches are kept free and clear of all rubbish, waste matter and debris and are properly cleaned up and cleared of all such material at the termination of the amusement activity, every applicant for a permit shall pay a fee in an amount determined by resolution of the City Council for an inspection of the property at the termination of the activity. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the property is cleaned up after any event.
.080 Application for Permit. An application for a special event permit shall be filed on a form approved by the Planning Director. The application shall be filed with the Planning Department not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the opening date of any such event involving rides, games, booths, or similar amusement devices. An application for a permit involving only the display of any temporary signs, flags, banners, fixed balloons, trailers, Christmas tree lot or pumpkin patch or outdoor sales promotion shall be filed with the Planning Department at any time prior to said display.
.090 Issuance or Denial of Permit. If the Planning Department determines that all applicable provisions of the law and of the Anaheim Municipal Code, including the provisions of this section are, or will be, complied with, and that the granting of the permit will not be detrimental to the public health or safety, then a permit shall be issued; otherwise, the application shall be denied.
.100 Permit Fee. A fee may be charged per Chapter 18.80 (Fees); provided, however, that charitable, nonprofit organizations recognized as such by the State of California shall be exempt from payment of the fee except for carnivals, circuses, Christmas tree lots or pumpkin patches.
.110 Revocation of Permit. The Planning Director shall have the authority to revoke a special event permit if he or she finds and determines such action is in the public interest, safety or general welfare. A decision of the Planning Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission. Repeat violators of Section 18.38.240 may be denied the issuance of future special event permits and may be subject to payment of community preservation inspection costs.
.120 Special Circumstances Waiver. The Planning Director shall have the authority to issue a special circumstances waiver to modify or waive any regulation contained in this section with regard to any specific application if the Planning Director finds and determines such modification or waiver would serve the public interest, safety or general welfare or that extraordinary circumstances are present.
.1201 Fees. Petitions for a special circumstances waiver shall be accompanied by the payment of a fee as set forth in Chapter 18.80 (Fees).
.1202 Time Period. The Planning Director shall render a decision on the petition for a special circumstances waiver within fourteen (14) days following receipt by the Planning Department of a complete application for review.
.1203 Notification. Upon rendering a decision with respect to a petition for a special circumstances waiver, the Planning Director shall notify the applicant and the City Clerk of such decision.
.1204 Decision. The decision of the Planning Director shall be final unless appealed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 18.60 (Procedures).
.130 Penalty for Violations. Any violation of any provision of this chapter shall be an infraction punishable in accordance with applicable provisions of the California Penal Code. Failure of any permittee to conform to all applicable provisions of this chapter shall constitute sufficient grounds for denial of a subsequent permit under this chapter.
(Ord. 5920 1 (part); June 8, 2004: Ord. 5984 § 2; August 16, 2005: Ord. 6031 § 28; August 22, 2006: Ord. 6115 § 2; October 14, 2008: Ord. 6153 § 1; August 11, 2009: Ord. 6156 §§ 13, 14; September 22, 2009: Ord. 6245 § 59; June 5, 2012: Ord. 6461 § 12; April 16, 2019: Ord. 6506 §§ 36, 37; February 9, 2021.)