Community Event Permits

community event


For step-by-step directions on how to check your status: CLICK HERE

GETTING STARTED: Learn about How to Obtain a Permit for your Public Event.

What is a Community Event?

A Community Event is defined as a public event occurring in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, sponsored by a bona fide California recognized nonprofit organization or a governmental organization, and planned for a time period of four (4) hours or more and up to four (4) consecutive days. A community event permit (CEP) is different from a temporary event permit for Food.

If your event is less than 4 hours, you do not qualify to utilize the CEP process, but this does not exempt you from possibly having to obtain all necessary permits for your event to take place.

Getting Started: Learn more about How to Obtain a Permit for your Public Event.
Watch our recent outreach training video that provides permitting requirements from all county agencies.

Community Event Permits (CEP)

A Community Event Permit (CEP) is a written approval from the County of San Diego to operate a community event.  The Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) serves as the coordinator for all Community Event permits and coordinates with other County agencies during the permitting and approval process.

If the event includes the sale of alcohol, the sponsor must apply to DEHQ prior to obtaining the ABC license. 

If the event will have activities involving specific interactions with children under the age of 18, like carnivals, kids’ games, face painting, haircuts, bounce houses, dunk tanks, pony rides, pictures with Santa/Easter Bunny/Princesses/Etc., additional approvals will need to be obtained from the Sheriff Licensing Division prior to the CEP permit being issued.

Also, please note that a non-profit organization shall be entitled to conduct a maximum of 6 community events within a 12 month period. Food vendors operating at these events must obtain a separate Temporary Food Facility permit for each event. The CEP organizer must submit a completed application to DEHQ no less than thirty (30) days or more than one (1) year prior to the event.

Community Events:   (858) 694-3614 

Community Events e-mail:

Community Events Fax: (858) 999-8920
FHD Duty Specialist:    (858) 505-6900
FHD Duty e-mail:


Completing an Electronic CEP Application

A CEP Application can be obtained online, filled out via Microsoft Office - Word, then submitted via e-mail. 
E-mailing your application allows for faster routing and may expedite the processing of your permit. If you need to fax your application, please attention forms to CEP coordinator (858) 999-8920. 

Per SDCC Sec. 21.203 - An application must be submitted at least 30 days before the first day of the proposed event to allow for adequate processing time and review. Failure to provide a complete application package on time will not allow for a Community Event Permit to be issued.

Important points to remember when completing an online application:

  • You must have Microsoft Office - Word or a program that can open .doc or .docx files. 
  • Click the CEP Application link below and save the file. Re-open the application in Microsoft Word.  
  • Use the application checklist to ensure you've submitted everything you need for your event.


  1. California Non-Profit Entity Number (CHECK HERE)
  2. Event site map with the following clearly depicted (hand drawn maps are accepted):
    1. North arrow, along with all streets surrounding event
    2. Main safety/security headquarters
    3. All amplified speakers/generators (with arrows used to point out direction of sound) and stages
    4. All ADA and Regular restrooms available for the event
    5. Parking used for event
    6. All food booth vendors
    7. All other activities occurring at event (i.e. Carnival, Petting Zoo, Beer Garden, Craft Vendors, etc.)
  3. Copy of Certificate of Insurance with proof of general liability (no alcohol served) and/or liquor liability (alcohol served) NOTE: If liquor is being served/consumed, you must obtain Liquor Liability.
  4. Copy of Additional Insurance endorsement - CG 20 12 or CG 20 26
  5. Copy of any contracts/agreements signed for the event

Email or Fax (858) 999-8920 completed application to CEP Coordinator. The Coordinator will contact you for a Phone or In-Person meeting to discuss any Supplementary Forms required. Failure to provide a complete application package at least 30 days prior to first day of proposed event my not allow for a Community Event Permit to be issued. Changes to your application after submittal may lead to delay or denial of your permit.


Application and Supplemental Forms

Event Information Intake Form – How To Obtain a Permit for your Public Event *UPDATED*

Community Event Permit (CEP) Application – Main Application  *UPDATED*

CEP Application Checklist - Ensure you've submitted everything you need.

Form A – Required if your event will have FOOD *UPDATED*

Form B – Required if your event will have NON-FOOD related MERCHANDISE VENDORS, FIREWORKS or will be HIRING SECURITY. *UPDATED*

Form C – Required if your event has a BIKE RIDE

Form D – Required if your event has ROAD CLOSURES (i.e., Parade or Race)

Form E – Required if your event has 2,000+ total in attendance per day. Also ensure the following  Waste Diversion Report is completed and emailed to within 30 days after the event. *UPDATED*

Temporary Event Food VENDOR application – Submit form if participating food vendor or if event organizer will be providing food at the event either “free of charge” or “for sale”. *UPDATED*


Resources and Guidelines

PRESENTATIONCommunity Event Permit Process

CEP Contact List  *UPDATED*

CEP Frequently Asked Questions

Community Event Insurance Requirements

San Diego County Fire Protection District Temporary Tents Checklist 

Pollution Prevention at Events

Portable Toilet Requirements

Sample CEP Site Map *UPDATED*

Sample Food and Housing Division Temporary Events Site Map

Sample Traffic Plan

Submitting Documents



(858) 999-8920