OXNARD — Noting problems with recent festivals, the City Council on Tuesday will try to come up with a way to control carnivals and other outdoor events in the central business district.
The council will consider whether to limit permits for festivals in downtown to one day. Residents will be able to comment on the issue during Tuesday's public hearing, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
City officials say a resolution to adopt an interim ordinance banning festivals longer than one day will probably pass.
"Recently, we've had a number of carnivals in the downtown area, and we're halting any issuance of permits until we can look at the impacts that affect the area," said Assistant City Manager Karen Burnham.
Noise, traffic and closing of public streets top the list of residents' complaints, Burnham said.
Police have also received reports of stolen vehicles, fights and assaults during the events. At a festival in September, authorities said, 26 people were cited and six arrested for various offenses.
The current ordinance allows the city to prohibit events if the use endangers the public.
"One of the reasons these events have become problems is the frequency with which they occur," said Joyce Parker-Bozylinski, planning and environmental services manager. "The [current] ordinance does not limit the number of events that can occur in the downtown area."
The interim ordinance would apply only to events that are held for more than one day. This allows for events such as the Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony but outlaws carnivals and other events that typically occur for three days, Parker-Bozylinski said.
City staff is currently drafting a policy for events held in the downtown area.