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.

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