It is our goal to assist you in planning an event that creates minimal impact on the Port's parks, as well as on the businesses and communities nearby. To plan an event in a Port of San Diego park, please review the following permit process and follow the directions contained therein. We encourage you to have minimal impact on the environment by planning a green event. Permit applications are in the download box at the bottom of the page.
The permit process begins with a call to customer service or when we receive a completed Event Information Checklist with a signed Special Event Permit Application and your Certificate of Insurance. Keep in mind that acceptance of your application should in no way be construed as final approval of your request. Copies of your application are forwarded and reviewed by all affected departments. During the review process you will be notified if we require any additional information. Any delay in providing additional information from you may hinder our ability to approve your application in a timely manner.
A completed application may be filed as early as eighteen (18) months before the event, but must be received no later than thirty (30) days before the actual event date. The Port District Code, Section 8.02 - Park Areas Regulated, provides the framework and guidance for the issuance of Special Events Permits within the Port of San Diego.
We hope you find these instructions helpful. Best Wishes for a successful event!
Contact Person on Site
A contact person representing the applicant must be immediately available, at the site, with authority over all elements of the event.
Setup of Your Event
The event organizer is required to provide careful supervision during the setup and removal of all equipment. In order to prevent damage to the lawn and sprinker system, a Port of San Diego gardener may need to be on hand to guide placement of staging or specialized equipment. Unless you have received special permission from the Port of San Diego to do so, only light (one ton or less), vehicles are allowed on the sidewalks and only "golf cart" type vehicles are allowed on the grass during setup and takedown of your event. Due to "stage three drought management" conditions as indicated by the San Diego County Water Authority we cannot alter our park watering schedules, even for special events.
Water, Sanitation and Toilet Facilities
The water supply in the Port of San Diego's parks is not potable, except at drinking fountains, and cannot be used for food preparation. The U.S. Clean Water Act prohibits the dumping of debris into storm drains. Additionally, you must avoid dumping or watering down parking lot surfaces or sidewalks of debris. You must properly dispose of waste and garbage by collecting and placing it in trash receptacles throughout and immediately upon conclusion of your event.
You must provide adequate "self-contained" porta-toilets to service anticipated attendance or when the total attendance will overtax existing restroom facilities. The San Diego County Department of Health recommends one (1) chemical toilet for every 250 people. Portable toilet(s) and dumpster(s) should be placed in the parking lot adjacent to your event unless otherwise specified.
The placement of all facilities/equipment must be indicated on your event site plan.
The area of the park to be used for the event may be temporarily fenced. The fencing must be placed in a manner as to "ring" the site event only. At no time will public access to the sidewalk promenade be fenced, screened or blocked off by any structure. For purposes of security during the actual hours of the event, public access to your event
may be temporarily halted by the organizer's security personnel. It is possible that there may be non-profit tee shirt sales organizations present in the park. These individuals have valid Port of San Diego permits and are not to be interfered with or displaced by your event activities.
Parking Unless you indicate on the checklist portion of the permit application your need to utilize an entire parking lot, designated parking stalls during the hours of your event, the parking lot will remain open for public access. The Port of San Diego's Ground Transportation Department requires at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of your event to post advisory signs at the entrance to a parking lot. If your event is scheduled for the Embarcadero Marina Park North, you must inform the Seaport Village Management Office ((619) 235-4014) of your parking and traffic management plan.
Because the parking spaces must be available to users of the Embarcadero Marina Park South public fishing pier, the parking lot cannot be used exclusively for a special event. Fishermen, employees, agents or vendors must have unimpeded access to the public fishing pier and the bait & tackle shop at all times.
Note : Any organizer planning to conduct an event with expected attendance of five hundred (500) or more persons will be required to provide an off site parking locations and/or shuttle service plan and traffic control personnel for the event.
Musical entertainment may be amplified through a sound system, but the sound levels cannot exceed the City of San Diego standards for noise. Please be aware that loud and unreasonable noise (including music) is a violation of state law. A Harbor Police Officer who determines that noise from your event is offensive to others may require you to stop the noise or may order the musical entertainment to end.
Acceptance of your Special Event Permit Application by the Port does not guarantee automatic approval of your event, so please be certain that your application has been approved before you promote, market or advertise your event. The event organizer must complete the application requirements before the Port will issue a Special Events
You are also reminded that it is illegal to place any form of sign or advertisement in on public property without a valid permit from the appropriate city or government agency. In addition, placing signs on private, commercial or undeveloped property without the express written permission of the property owner is a violation of the law. Each event organizer will be held responsible for the actions of any sign company acting on the organizer's behalf.
Moving Route Events
When planning a parade or march on Port of San Diego property, consider the possible negative impact imposed by your event on people trying to reach hotels, the airport and cruise ship terminal, businesses and public facilities. You are required to provide mitigating measures for all Port businesses impacted by your event. Notices, to be mailed or hand delivered at least two (2) weeks prior to your event, must reflect
the date(s), time(s), location(s) and type of activity to take place during your event. Contingent upon Port of San Diego approval, notices should give detour route information if normal access is affected. You are also required to provide roadway advisory signs, placed a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to the event, with advance notice of the schedule closure. A copy of the notice and a letter of acknowledgment from Port tenants impacted by your event must be forwarded to the Marketing & Public Relations Office prior to your event.
In order to obtain final permit approval, you will need to provide commercial general liability insurance for your event. Insurance coverage must be in force for the duration of the event, including setup through takedown days. The Port of San Diego requires a minimum of $500,000 for personal and bodily injury, one person and one occurrence; and a minimum of $500,000 coverage for property damage.
Certificates of insurance must be furnished to the Port of San Diego at least thirty (30) days prior to the setup of the event.
Note: The same organization named as the insured on the certificate of insurance should also be listed in the applicant blank on the special event permit application. The wording must be exactly the same. In addition, the Port of San Diego must be identified by its full name - San Diego Unified Port District - as the additional insured.
Note: The Port of San Diego does not supply electricity, generators, toilet paper, water or extra trash receptacles.
The Port reserves and has the exclusive right to the site at any time for the purposes of routine maintenance, inspection, landscaping, viewing or to otherwise protect its interests in the premises.
The Organizer has the sole responsibility for the security of all temporary facilities or other items placed at the park site. The Port of San Diego assumes no liability for equipment left in a park.