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Temporary Use/ Event Permits

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event nc 

ADVISORY ALERT:  As a result of the amended orders and emergency regulations issued by the San Diego County Public Health Officer in response to the COVID-19 situation in San Diego County, (link is external) the City of National City has enacted temporary limits on public gatherings to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19. These limits have specific implications for special event permits and on-location filming, which apply for both future permits and previously issued permits in the City of National City. 


Special Event permit amendments for rescheduled dates and new applications for future dates may be submitted for review. Issuance of special event permits will be subject to new guidelines or mandates for public gatherings and social distancing and will be in accordance with the County Public Health Orders, California Department of Public Health guidelines, and Centers for Disease Control guidelines. As with all guidance that relates to COVID-19 response, authorities will revisit this guidance on a regular basis to evaluate the continued public health need for it and to evaluate if any elements need to be changed. To stay informed, continue to monitor this link: (link is external).


For any additional questions, please contact the following staff. 


Special Events - Dionisia Trejo  - (619) 336-4364




Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) are used for special activities, events, or structures that are beneficial to the public for limited periods of time; even though it would not comply with building, fire, zoning, or other local codes.  Chapter 15.60 of the National City Municipal Code regulates these permits.  In general, any organized activity that uses public property, facilities, parks, sidewalks, streets, or any public right-of-ways applicants are required to obtain this permit.  In some cases, activities or events taking place on private property also require a TUP. There are 3 types of TUPs for different uses and activity; they are Class A, Class B, and Class C TUPs.

Descriptions of Temporary Use Permits

Class A Uses/Activities, requiring City Council approval:

  • Auctions conducted outdoors by charitable or philanthropic organizations (one per year)
  • Balloon rides/races
  • Block or holiday parties and displays conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Carnivals/circuses/traveling shows pursuant to City Ordinance No. 1227
  • Exhibitions (boxing, wrestling, etc.)
  • Fairs/bazaars/exhibits/trade shows conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Farmer's markets (temporary)
  • Helicopter landings (temporary)
  • Las Vegas Nights conducted by non-profit organizations
  • Live domestic animal rides
  • Membrane structures (provided the structure complies with uniform Fire Code and other applicable codes - see UBC)
  • Musical concerts/festivals of all types conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Outdoor pet shows
  • Outdoor stages/platforms for sales promotions/events/grand openings and similar activities
  • Parades/bicycle tours/walks/runs and similar activities on city streets
  • Photography/filming on public or private property that requires street closures and/or traffic control in excess of three minutes, or that involves stunts or special effects which may require City services
  • Political activities conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Religious activities conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Special lighting displays for advertising
  • Temporary vehicle display areas conducted outdoors or in temporary structures
  • Uses/activities exceeding the duration in Section 15.60.040 of the NCMC shall require approval of the City Council

IMG_2163 auto heritage show

Class B Uses/Activities subject to conditions and City Codes, as applicable:

  • Photography/filming on public or private property that does not involve street closures and/or traffic control in excess of three minutes and does not involve stunts or special effects, which may require City services
  • Mobile homes/trailers used for construction offices on active construction sites (duration of construction)
  • Mobile homes/trailers used for temporary offices or classrooms after the building permit is issued for permanent building on-site (duration of one year)
  • Off-site storage yards for contractors' materials and equipment used on Public Works projects (duration of construction)
  • Sales office/model home in condominiums or subdivisions (duration of one year)
  • Sales office (temporary) at condominiums or subdivisions (duration of six months)

Class C Uses/Activities subject to Business License Regulations:

  • Christmas tree sales lots
  • Garage sales - maximum duration allowed is four consecutive days and not more than two per calendar year
  • Outdoor fire sales (duration 15 days at site where fire occurred)
  • Rummage sales conducted by local charitable or philanthropic organizations
  • Special promotion/outdoor sales/displays - duration three days and not more than two per calendar year with minimum of thirty days between activities
  • Temporary relocation of business to a private/publicly owned non-residential property when displaced by public works project

BB795B81-FF47-4BBC-9EFF-857416ACF2C2   FullSizeRender

NOTE:  Uses/activities exceeding the duration as specified on the business license shall require the approval of the City Council.


Applications need to be submitted more than the following specified number of days prior to the commencement of the use activity:

  • Class A Use: 45 working days
  • Class B Use: 15 working day
  • Class C Use:  5 working days
  • Class A, Photography/Motion Picture Permits --- 10 working days
  • Class B, Photography/Motion Picture Permits --- 2 working days

Note: The City Council will not approve the sale or consumption of alcohol in City parks in conjunction with any event requiring a TUP  This prohibition will not impact the existing policy regarding the sale or consumption of alcohol within buildings in the parks, such as the Community Center, which will continue to be subject to the approval of the City Council.

Click here to download the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) Application. Inside the application packets, the following forms must be completed and submitted:

  • Application
  • Public Property Use Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement

Department of Environmental Health, Community Food and Housing

Under the authority of the California Health and Safety Code, the County of San Diego Environmental Health Dept. has the responsibility to regulate the selling of food during special events, such as fairs and festivals.  The primary objective is to reduce public health risks by assuring that the food items sold are safe and wholesome for consumption.

It is required that every special event's organizer provide adequate sanitary facilities, enclosed food booths and potable water during the event.  Prior to the event, each food booth participant must file an application for Heath Permit for Special Events.  An assigned Environmental Health Specialist conducts an inspection of sanitary facilities and each food booth to ascertain that food items are prepared and handled in a sanitary manner during the event.


A. Class A Use:  The City Council has established the fee for processing Class A TUP applications at 100 percent of all direct and indirect costs incurred to City departments reviewing the application.  In addition, the City Council has established a maximum fee of $356 unless the City Council approves a higher fee.

The T.U.P. application fee shall equal the total costs of all departments reviewing the application.  In the event a department indicates it incurred costs for reviewing a specific application, which exceed the average cost, the actual cost incurred by the department shall be used.  Contact the Building & Safety Department for the T.U.P. application fee for:

Special Event Permit:  350.00

  • Class A Use: $272.00
  • Class B Use: $109.00
  • Class C Use: $50.00

B. All fees paid to "City of National City" for temporary use permit activities withdrawn or not exercised, after such application has been processed, shall be non-refundable.  The application shall become null and void.

Classes of Temporary Use Permits

  • Class A - Requires City Council approval
  • Class B – Issued by the Neighborhood Services Department
  • Class C - Subject to business license regulations

NOTE: All TUPs are subject to appeal in accordance with Section 15.60.045 of the National City Municipal Code.

Conditions of Approval

A. Site development standards, site plan review, environmental impact review, and public works improvements, otherwise required with building permits, and are exempt under this chapter.

B. The City shall require evidence that all related permits and approvals, such as fire prevention, health and sanitation, police, animal regulations, and business licenses, have been obtained for each temporary use permit.

C. The City may require engineering design of the temporary buildings, certification of the structure, mechanical, electrical, and other equipment and devices.

D. The City may attach whatever conditions and limitations necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare.  Such conditions may include, but not be limited to:

  • Hours of use
  • Noise
  • Security
  • Trash collection and disposal
  • Occupant loads
  • Lighting
  • Sanitary facilities
  • Traffic control
  • Dust control
  • Other related concerns

E. Failure to comply with these requirements and conditions shall be cause for revocation of the permit and enforcement under this chapter.

F. Certificate of Insurance - Where the use of City facilities is involved, the applicant may be required to provide a certificate of insurance, evidencing combined single limit coverage of at least $1 million and naming the City of National City as a named additional insured.  Amounts of coverage to be determined by the National City Risk Manager.

In all cases involving the use of City facilities, the applicant is required to provide a Hold Harmless Agreement holding the city harmless from any liability arising from the use of the facilities.


  • Temporary Use Permits shall be for the dates specified as follows:
    • Class A Use:  As specified by the City Council.
    • Class B Use:  Times specified on schedule.
    • Class C Use:  Times specified on business license.
  • The City Council has the authority to limit and/or extend the duration of any Class A, B or C activity at the request of the applicant.
  • Temporary Use Permits not exercised within the duration specified or withdrawn by the applicant shall automatically become void.


Violations of any provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and shall carry the penalties as prescribed in Chapter 1.20 of the National City Municipal Code

Revocation and Suspension of Use or Activity

  • The building official, upon finding the conditions of any permit are being violated, may revoke such permit and order the immediate suspension of the activity.
  • Upon finding imminent and hazardous threats to public safety, health or welfare caused by any activity covered by permit, the building official, with police assistance, may take reasonable steps to physically prevent public access thereto and eliminate the hazards.


  • Any applicant may appeal the action of the building official on any application by filing a written letter of appeal with the City Clerk, stating the reasons.
  • Upon filing such appeal, the permit shall be withheld until the City Council hearing and decision is rendered.  The City Council shall have the final authority to approve, conditionally approve or deny the temporary use application.
  • The City Council may on its own motion appeal any temporary use application.  In all appeals by the City Council, the applicant shall have the opportunity to present the case to the City Council.


  • When a permit has been revoked, it may not be reinstated.  A new Temporary Use Permit application for the same activity shall not be approved until the causes of revocation have been corrected and all costs incurred by the City have been paid as estimated by the building official.
  • All action on revocations may be appealed in accordance with Section 15.60.045.  The filing of a revocation or suspension appeal for an activity shall not permit the activity to continue, until a hearing and decision by the City Council.

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