City of Sequim sets deadline for lavender groups’ comments

SEQUIM — The city has given Sequim’s two lavender associations until Friday to comment on new city requirements for lavender festival special-events permits.

After that, the city will issue the necessary permits for the July 20-22 lavender festival, city officials said.

The officials met last week with representatives of the Sequim Lavender Growers Association and the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, which broke off from the growers group last year.

Paul Jendrucko, spokesman for the growers association, said the group would respond to the city Friday.

“It’s not earth-shattering,” Jendrucko said. “We’re going to work with the city.”

Scott Nagel, farmers association executive director, said the group’s board approved the city’s proposal Monday night.

“We’re very enthusiastic and completely supportive of the entire plan,” he said.

“This is going to take care of all the issues of confusion and make sure that visitors have all information they need.”

City Manager Steve Burkett, who along with City Attorney Craig Ritchie met Friday with representatives of both associations, said the meetings went well, and that “we are feeling confident that we will be able to move forward with these plans in a positive manner.”

Added Barbara Hanna, city marketing and communications director: “The whole reason we are getting involved is to ensure a good visitor experience.”

City requirements

The city’s first-time approach to lavender festival permitting lays down key requirements for visitor signage, shuttle bus transportation and information booths.

Last summer was the first time two separate festivals were held during Sequim’s Lavender Weekend.

The separate July events followed the groups’ January 2010 breakup.

On Friday, draft documents of the permit conditions and contracts for the upcoming Sequim Lavender Weekend events were reviewed.

The city requires a special-event permit “for any event that disrupts the usual flow of activity in the city and sets conditions to ensure the safety of the public and to support the success of the event,” Hanna said.

As part of the city’s role in promoting tourism, the city is able to enter into a contract with nonprofit organizations that are producing tourism-related events and that allows the city to provide some funding for the event.

Permit conditions that Sequim is requiring include provisions that:

■ Each association submit a signage proposal by April 1 so the city can coordinate a clear signage program between the two associations.

■ Each association provides a link on the home page of any website used to promote its event to the city of Sequim Lavender Weekend page, which will have information on all of the lavender events taking place during the Lavender Weekend.

■ Seven information booths will be located at key locations in the city, as well as at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center.

Each association will staff each booth during the weekend.

Booth volunteers will be trained by the city and chamber, and each booth will distribute city-prepared event maps to each visitor.

■ The city will coordinate a shuttle bus to take visitors to key locations throughout the city.

■ Each association will provide the city with a plan for tour buses that come from other locations, including a designated drop-off location, holding areas, other transportation for visitors if needed and permission from any property owners that might be affected.

■ An estimate be provided of the costs to the city to support the events from both associations.

Each association is responsible for its share of the cost, unless it has a contract with the city that may allow the city to provide funding for some of the costs of the events.

In addition to the permit conditions, the city also reviewed new contracts with each association.

Cost estimates

City officials figure the cost to the growers association, which stages its event on and adjacent to Fir Street, will total $16,142.

The cost estimated for the farmers association, which stages its event at the city’s Water Reclamation Demonstration Park and James Center Band Shell, is $19,423.

Hanna said if the groups meet the city requirements and conditions of the permit, they will not have to pay the city’s costs.

“We have supported them in the past, and we could charge them if we chose to do so,” Hanna said.

The costs cover city services, from police traffic control and the use of city parks facilities to street sweeping, utility charges and bus transportation.

City parkland rental is based on 25 cents per square foot.

A deposit for all costs shall be paid before city permits are issued, and final actual costs will be settled within 60 days, city officials said.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at [email protected]

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