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Town News

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Special Events

The Town of Collierville’s policies and ordinances regulate year-round gatherings for the public, known as Special Events. In certain cases, organizers of such an event may be required to obtain Town approvals and permits. To keep Collierville, safe, clean and family centered, Special Events within the Town of Collierville have been divided into two (2) distinct classifications based upon their impact to Town property and services and their potential impact on the community, Class I Special Events and Class II Special Events.

Class I Special Events:

Class I Special Events are outdoor activities that involve the use of Town of Collierville property (parks, facilities, greenways, trails, public rights-of-way, etc) or require “non basic” Town services. A permit from the Special Events Committee is required for a Class I Special Event. Applications shall be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Department no less than sixty (60) days prior to the event. During the review of a Class I Special Event Permit, notices shall be given to all affected departments so that they may determine their level of sponsorship. Event organizers who suspect that their event would be a Class I Special Event should contact the Parks Department at 457-2277.

Class II Special Events:

Class II Special Events are outdoor activities that are on private property and do not need any of the "non-basic” Town Services that are common for larger events. Examples may include, but are not necessarily limited to, customer appreciation events, equipment shows, and promotional events; outdoor musicals, concerts, festivals, fairs, carnivals; outdoor races and other forms of competition and athletic events; air shows; religious services; classes; meetings or large outdoor assemblies; and, parties, not otherwise exempted by this section. Event organizers who suspect that their outdoor activity would be a Class II Special Event, or that want to make sure their event does not violate other Town regulations or policies (tents, outdoor display or merchandise, signage, etc) should complete a Class II Special Event Application and submit it to the Planning Division no later than sixty (60) days prior to the event. The majority of the applications are determined to be “exempt” from formal Town approvals, as explained below.

Any Class II Special Event which is expected to have over 250 people at any one time attending the event on private property (final attendance estimates may be determined by the Town) or is comprised of any series of related events held at a location on consecutive days, weekends, or dates that is expected to have a cumulative total of over 500 people attending during the course of a calendar year, is not permitted “by right”. Such events warrant close scrutiny review and approval by the Town via a process called a “Conditional Use Permit (CUP),” which is regulated by §151.310 of the Zoning Ordinance. Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) must approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA), based on a recommendation from the Planning Commission (PC). This is about a 60 day process and a $300 nonrefundable review fees is applicable, so be sure to plan ahead. Not all large events require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), and those that meet the following descriptions are typically determined by the Planning Division to be “exempt” from CUP review:

  • An event that is to be held within a permanent facility specifically approved and permitted for the proposed use or activity. Examples include, but are not limited to, church sanctuaries, country clubs, gymnasiums, assembly or performance halls, and conference centers.
  • Funeral processions;
  • Company picnics for nonprofit organization or business;
  • Private outdoor events on the grounds of existing Institutional properties, such as schools or churches that do not block driveways or required parking spaces. In such instances, the applicant may be asked to demonstrate an appropriate physical area for fire protection purposes, as well as appropriate sanitation facilities and road access. 
  • An event, such as a neighborhood-wide garage sale or social gathering, that is to be conducted by a duly authorized residential property owner's association, occurs entirely within the area of its jurisdiction, is arranged primarily for the benefit of association members and does not benefit any outside organization.
  • An event, or recurring events, held at an outdoor place of public assembly specifically designed for the gathering together of persons for commercial, civic, or social functions, or recreation for food or drink consumption. Examples include, but are not limited to, sports stadiums, pools, athletic fields, outdoor amphitheaters or stages, and outdoor dining areas or patios. To be eligible for this exception, the outdoor place of public assembly must be shown on a site plan and approved by the Town of Collierville.
  • An event wholly contained on property owned by the State of Tennessee or Shelby County that does not have off-site impacts.

Additional Permits May Be Required Related to Your Event:

Organizers of Class II Special Events should be aware that local zoning and codes often require permits associated with outdoor activities:

  • Structures to be built, such as booths, stages, stands, etc. – Contact the Codes Division at 457-2310
  • Tent or canopies – Contact the Planning Division at 457-2360 and Fire Marshal’s office at 457-2400
  • Any electrical hook ups– Contact the Codes Division at 457-2310
  • Amusement rides – Contact the Codes Division at 457-2310
  • Charitable solicitations or fundraising – Contact the Planning Division at 457-2360
  • Signage that is visible off site – Contact the Planning Division at 457-2360
  • Outdoor display or storage of goods – Contact the Planning Division at 457-2360
  • Sale of alcoholic beverages – Contact the Beer Board at 457-2200

What are “Non-basic” Town Services?

Special Events often require Town services that are considered “non-basic” and beyond normal municipal services. When these non-basic services are required, the event shall automatically be classified as a Class I Special Event and reviewed by the Special Events Committee. Fees shall be applicable for such services, which may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Electrical Service
  • Onsite custodial support
  • Garbage removal
  • Traffic Control/ Public Safety Presence
  • Police Security – after event hours
  • Onsite stand-by fire personnel, and or Fire Safety Inspectors, or
  • Onsite Staff (for electrical or other problems after regular working hours)

Event organizers that suspect that they need such “non basic” Town services should contact the Parks Department at 457-2777 to inquire about a Class I Special Event Permit.