Tag Archives: permit

Adventures in Permitting – Success!

So if you’ve been following my Adventures in Permitting for the last 4 months, you know it’s been a lot of waiting with some bouts of work trying to get the permit for the Rim To Rim Trail Run approved. As of Monday, October 27, 2014 I can finally say that process is (more or less) done! The Bidwell Park and Playground Commission (BPPC) met and approved my permit, with some normal conditions about getting insurance and following park rules. It is an amazingly huge relief to have that hurdle cleared.

I haven’t written much about the work I had to do over the last couple weeks, so I’ll give you the full run-down now. My permit application had come under scrutiny from the parks department here in Chico for a couple of reasons. I am a first time race director and this is an inaugural event, so it is bound to attract some attention. I was originally slated to have my permit reviewed back in August, but the Natural Resource Manager for Bidwell Park (where the event will take place) wanted to get some specific questions answered. His schedule is apparently pretty impacted, so even though I’d responded to the questions via email, he was not able to meet in person before the September BPPC meeting. We scheduled a meeting for early October, and I went back to the waiting game.

On October 7th I got a chance to meet with the Natural Resource Manager as well as two park rangers to discuss my event. After some discussion, it became clear their chief concern was around the trails I was planning to use for part of the race, and the difficulty in accessing those trails in case of emergency. For me, this was frustrating since I run on those trails frequently, and it would be just as much of a hassle to get to me if I was injured by myself or as part of a race. However, it was clear to me that there would not be support for my event if the trail access issues were not addressed. Compromise was in order.

I have had a very clear idea of the route I wanted to take for this race, even well before I began the process of getting a permit and making it an official event. Finding out I needed to alter the course, and in a fairly fundamental way, was more than a little frustrating. I tried to remain positive about it, and set to work rerouting the course. I had already made a change to the route based on road closures, and while this would be more significant, I knew I could make the adjustments and still keep the spirit and soul of the event.

The day after meeting with the representatives from the park, I went out for a run, mapping some routes and figuring out mileage. I returned home and poured over the route information, adding mileage totals and putting the pieces together. A day later, I had the modified route proposal put together and sent out.

Fast-forward another two weeks to today. I sat in the City Council chambers as my permit was discussed. I answered a couple of questions about the route. And then, in a 5-minute master stroke of anticlimax, my permit was approved. Success!

Tonight I am celebrating. But now, of course, the real work begins. Securing insurance, finding sponsors, and marketing the event so I can get some actual runners are all on deck. I’ll be documenting  it every step of the way, so stay tuned here, and keep an eye on the Rim To Rim Trail Run website. There will be so much more to come!

Adventures in Permitting – Not This Month

I’ve written about the permitting process a few times now, and my last update had me going in for the permit review on September 29th. Alas, things have been delayed one more time.

I finally got a reply from the local parks department, and they had some additional questions they wanted to discuss before the actual permit review meeting. They’re willing to meet with me in person to talk through them, which is great, but that meeting won’t happen until October 7th. So… back to the waiting game. I will have the meeting on the 7th and, from there, I can get on the agenda for the monthly permit review in October, which will happen on the 27th.

Just to recap the timeline, my permit was submitted on June 20th, so that will be four months since my initial application. I want to highlight how long this process takes, so that anyone considering their own race allows plenty of time for the wheels of government to turn and process permits.

The recent cancellation of the Boulder Marathon due to permitting issues highlights how crucial it is to allow the necessary time and to actually follow through on permitting before you start collecting money from runners. I’ll continue to keep everyone up to date on how the process goes for me, and what I learn after my meeting with the city officials on October 7th. Wish me luck!

Adventures in Permitting – Interlude

I have talked a little about permitting in my first post on the subject, and in my August update I indicated I was still waiting for the City of Chico to review my race permit. Well, I am still in permit limbo, but now there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I exchanged emails with the city’s Parks Department and, after a brief tease where I thought it would be reviewed in August, my permit is now scheduled to be reviewed at the end of September. One of the managers responsible for the permit review has some questions; I’m currently waiting to hear back on exactly what those are. So… in the next couple weeks I should hopefully get any outstanding issues resolved and be ready for a permit approval on September 29th. Everyone keep your fingers crossed!

Adventures in Permitting – Part 1

Today was a big day for me and for the race. I submitted my permit application to the Parks Division here in Chico! Okay, at first blush turning in a batch of paperwork doesn’t sound that exiciting, but it’s a milestone for me nonetheless. It’s a big (and very necessary) step towards making this race a reality.

Since my race will take place in Bidwell Park here in Chico, it requires permit approval from the city. The process is not particularly onerous, but there are a couple pages of information to fill out about the event. Questions about start and end times, food vendors, number of attendees, all of which require consideration since the answers bear on how the race itself will come together.

Case in point: when will I need to start setting up for the event? Given that I have never put on a race before, the short answer is “I don’t know!” Alas, that isn’t one of the options on a permit application. And it’s not just academic either, since I am assessed a fee for having a park ranger come out to open the road access gates early. So, like any good test taker, I made some educated guesses, crossed my fingers, and answered the questions.

The standard permit application is used for any event, from a quilting convention to a concert in the park. So in addition to the normal questions I wrote up a page of supplemental information about the event. This included a map of the proposed route (including my impromptu reroute I mentioned yesterday). It felt more than a little long-winded, since it was describing all the ins and outs of the trails used, but I figured it was best to be thorough.

Of course, like everything in life, this flurry of activity and the culmination of turning in the application will be followed up with… waiting. The permit applications are reviewed by a committee that meets once a month, and because my event is almost a year away that could mean a month or two delay before I find out a verdict. That is more than a little bit frustrating, but it will give me ample opportunity to work on my patience. And they don’t even charge me extra for that opportunity. What a bargain! 🙂

For those who happen to be local to Chico and curious about putting on an event of their own I’ll put links over on the Resources page to the city’s permit applications. For everyone else, stay tuned for Part 2 as my permit moves through the process. I can’t promise it will be as exciting as a bill becoming a law, but I’ll do what I can.