Groups and Special Event Permits

Special events, special use, and groups of 25 or more people require permits in advance. Groups of 24 or fewer do not require permits.

Groups of 24 or Fewer

  • Small groups, which are 24 or fewer adults and children, do not require reservations or permits. Organizers are responsible for limiting the size of their group and may be subject to citation and expulsion from the preserve if the group size exceeds 24 people.

Groups of 25 or More

  • Groups of 25 or more require a reservation or a permit. These include activities such as picnic groups, weddings, hiking and mountain biking meet-ups, classes and docent-led walks. Organizers are responsible for limiting the size of their group.

Gathering Permit

A Gathering Permit is a basic “free” permit required for groups of 25 or more who gather in downtown parks or plaza’s, and when a Special Event Permit is not required. This permit does not provide for exclusive use, but allows usage on a first-come, first-serve basis only.  No Insurance is required.

For events in Open Space (Foothills, Baylands or Perason-Arastradero), a special use permit is required for the preserve you wish to use.  Please see below for information on obtaining a special use permit.

To submit a request for a Gathering Permit, complete the online questionnaire and all forms. All forms must be filled out completely, with a detailed description of the event. An aerial diagram of the event may also be required. Please allow 10 days for processing, once all requirements are submitted.

Submit Gathering Permit Request

Special Events / Special Use Permit

"Special events," such as running or bicycling races, usually require the use of many city resources (e.g., road closures, police or fire personnel). Permits for these events are required to be completed at least a month in advance.

"Special uses" include scientific research or collecting, commercial photography, rest stops for athletic training events, and weddings. All require permits in advance.