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Special Events

Scottsdale is an ideal environment to hold a special event due to its inviting weather, abundance of shops and activities, and year-round attractiveness to our many visitors and residents. The City recognizes special events as an important part of Scottsdale’s quality of life and the contribution they make to a sustainable tourism industry.

Proposed Updates to Special Event Ordinance

Scottsdale Revised Code Update – Special Event Signs

The City of Scottsdale is preparing a text amendment to the Scottsdale Revised Code that will update and incorporate special event sign regulations into Chapter 22 of the Scottsdale Revised Code. The City is seeking public comment and input on the proposed draft regulations. The final draft will be reviewed and considered by the City Council.

The City of Scottsdale is also preparing a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance (Case 2-TA-2016) that will amend the requirements for temporary signs, semi-permanent signs, and remove special event sign regulations from the Zoning Ordinance.

Case Information Sheet (2-TA-2016)

Open House Information:
The City of Scottsdale is preparing a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and Scottsdale Revised Code that will amend the requirements for temporary signs, semi-permanent signs, and special event signs. As part of a broad city-wide outreach on this proposal, the community is invited for review and comment at two Open Houses regarding these proposed amendments. Staff representatives will be available to provide information and respond to questions.  

Date & Time: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 5:30-7p.m.
Location: One Civic Center 7447 E. Indian School Rd.
Temporary & Semi-Permanent Signs: Community Development Rooms 1, 2 & 3
Special Event Signs: Plan Review Rooms 1, 2 & 3

Date & Time: Wednesday, 12/7/2016, 5:30-7:00 PM
Location: Via Linda Senior Center 10440 E. Via Linda
Temporary & Semi-Permanent Signs: Room 4
Special Event Signs: Room 6

City Staff Contact: Cheryl Sumners, Events Manager
P: 480-312-7834  Email: 

Special Event User Guide

Most special events represent a major investment of time and money. When well planned and executed, they can bring rewarding dividends to the organizers as well as the City of Scottsdale. Successful events require responsible leadership, careful planning, sensitivity to potential impacts, good organization and follow through, plus the ability to anticipate the unexpected. City staff is available from multiple departments to assist with questions and potential solutions to your specific event planning needs. We encourage you to use the Special Event User Guide as a resource for planning a safe, successful event, along with important procedural items, policies, and contact information.

The second edition draft of the Special Events User Guide includes changes and revisions based on feedback received by the City Council and community to date.  

Significant changes include:

  • Pages 3 & 5 – Removed quarterly permit application submittal requirements
  • Page 4 – Added section to reflect approval of Farmers Market regulations
  • Pages 7-8 – Revised application review timeframes
  • Page 8 – Added a conditional approval decision to reflect applications that otherwise meet requirements, but still need a barricade plan, revised site plan, or insurance documentation to be submitted
  • Page 15 – Expanded notice and notification section that reviews what processes will be done by the City versus the applicant, and provides an example using the Canal Banks
  • Page 26 – Defined Downtown Canal Bank Notification Area
  • Pages 27- 29 – Added city maps
  • Pages 30-32 – Added sample site plans, insurance form and barricade plan

The draft revisions are reflected within the document as strikethroughs and red lettering. All feedback is welcomed, will be reviewed and considered in the final second edition of the revised guidelines. Please submit comments directly to Cheryl Sumners, Events Manager, at by Friday, October 7, 2016.

Application & Permit Process effective July 1, 2016

Adopted Special Events Ordinance

Highlighted changes include:

  • Revising the definition of special event and adding other definitions
  • Adding special event criteria
  • Creating streamlined processes for events (a three tiered approach)
  • Revising the frequency and duration for a special event
  • Adding limitations to art-related events in Downtown Thursday evenings
  • Detailing the application procedures and requirements
  • Expanding the timeframe for application submittals
  • Creating notification requirements
  • Establishing the ability to charge fees for temporary use of public property for an event
  • Changing event approval decision to an events administrator (eliminating the Special Events Committee)
  • Changing decision appeals to the City Manager (replacing the Zoning Administrator)
  • Providing for the implementation of a Special Events User Guide to document details related to holding events in Scottsdale

Fees for Events Held on Public Property

Fee schedule (PDF) - effective July 1, 2016

Events that propose to use public property as part of the event footprint are required to pay use fees for any events occurring on or after July 1, 2016.  Fees will be collected prior to the event at time of permit issuance (once event has been approved).

Downtown Event

There are event spaces located within the Downtown which include the Marshall Way Bridge and Plaza, the Canal Banks area, the Soleri Bridge and Plaza, the Civic Center Mall area, and the Scottsdale Stadium. To inquire about availability, please contact:

Civic Center Mall - Annie Parker, Facilities Rental Manager, 480-874-4604,

Scottsdale Stadium - Jeff Cesaretti, Stadium Supervisor, 480-312-2380,

Additionally SRP review, approval, and licensing is required for any Downtown events proposed along the canal banks within 65' on either side of the canal.

Refer to: SRP permit information

Email Notifications

If interested in receiving updates about received special event applications, review and approval statuses, please subscribe herelinks to external site