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LOS ALAMITOS : Fees Set for Large Public Gatherings

The city will not charge permit fees for block parties and other neighborhood events in which fewer than 500 people attend.

The City Council decided last week to not impose the fees. Council members said it might deter residents and local organizations from holding activities considered vital in fostering community spirit.

But organizers of parades, events and assemblies held on public property in which more than 500 people will participate will pay the permit fees under an ordinance adopted by the council last week.

Political marches and other events related to the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt, officials said.

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City Manager Robert C. Dunek said the fees will enable the city to recover part of the cost of an event’s employee time and maintenance.

Organizers of events likely to attract from 500 to 1,500 people will pay $50, and those with more than 1,500 participants will pay $100.

In addition, the ordinance requires that organizers get liability insurance and pay for such city services as traffic control and use of barricades for street closures.

The ordinance is intended to provide “better coordination and protection, including liability concerns, for event organizers and the city,” Dunek said.

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