The City of New Westminster encourages neighbours to come together to foster community life in a safe, fun and respectful way on your street. By obtaining a Street Occupancy Permit for a Block Party, you can bring your neighbours together to create a sense of belonging while enjoying neighbourhood activities in a social outdoor environment, which is a great way to stay connected with those that live around you. The City appreciates your contributions in making New Westminster a vibrant place to call home.
For the 2023-2024 period, the Street Occupancy permit fee is waived for the first permit each year per eligible block. Please see guidelines below for conditions.
WHERE YOU CAN HOST A BLOCK PARTY?
To ensure that traffic operates safety and impacts to others are kept to a minimum, only local streets (see map) are eligible for block party street occupancy permits. City staff will review all applications and may deny a permit on a local street if there are extenuating circumstances related to road safety, traffic operations or other unforeseen conditions. If your street is not eligible but you would still like to hold a block party, consider teaming up with a neighboring street or booking a park space nearby.
CREATING A SAFE AND FUN BLOCK PARTY
The City wants everyone to create a safe and fun space and therefore guidelines have been developed to assist in the review of block party permit applications.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CREATING A BLOCK PARTY
Food brings everyone together. Bring out the BBQ or have a potluck! Here is a helpful link for BBQ safety.
- Consider activities such as street hockey, ladders, carnival games, corn hole and other “lawn” games that provide an opportunity for all ages to participate together without a lot of investment
- Get creative by setting up an arts and craft table
- Bring in some roving entertainment
- Send out a request for ideas to your neighbours and perhaps someone has some hidden talents like face painting or balloon tying
- The Block Party program is intended for a neighbourhood activation, which brings together neighbours who live on the same block. A ‘block’ is one street segment between two other intersecting City streets.
- To foster a sense of belonging, all neighbours on the block should be invited with a minimum of 3 neighbours supporting the street closure. A Block Party is not intended for private celebrations, large-scale events with numerous guests, paid admission, or business-focused gatherings or events. A Neighbourhood Support Form is required with application.
- Access to driveways via personal vehicles needs to be considered as neighbours may need to go in and out throughout the day with their vehicles. The general public must also be able to pass through the block on foot, bike, or other small-wheeled devices.
- To ensure emergency vehicles have access to the block at all times a 3-meter wide path along the street must remain clear.
- Food trucks, bouncy castles, and other large objects (e.g., marquee tents) will not be permitted on the street however if you would like to include bouncy castles and other large object on private property it is permissible.
- Alcohol is not permitted except on private property.
- The City does not provide street cleaning services or waste pick-up for block parties. Please minimize waste, recycle and compost whatever you can, and pick up litter.
- Although a block party is for your neighbours please be reminded that sound travels throughout the neighbourhood and we advise you to limit the amplification of music. Block parties must be wrapped up by 10:00 pm.
- The City is not able to supply access to City water or electrical through this program. Many residential homes have outside taps and outlets, though!
- For the 2023-2024 period, there is no fee for one Street Occupancy Permit per calendar year per eligible block, however the City requires you to purchase event insurance covering the host’s general liability with a minimum of $5 Million and tenant’s legal liability with $1 Million coverage and naming the City of New Westminster as a third party on the policy. The insurance can be purchased from any insurance agency and a Certificate of Insurance must be provided to City staff before the permit will be issued. Once the permit has been conditionally approved you will be required to obtain and submit a certificate of insurance.
- One free permit will be issued per year per block on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to hold another party on your block in the same year, additional permits can be purchased at a cost.
WHAT DOES A BLOCK PARTY STREET OCCUPANCY PERMIT INCLUDE?
- Approval for use of a local street or cul-de-sac. (see map)
- Barricades and appropriate signage related to the street closure that will be delivered before your Block Party and picked up afterward. At the end of the party, please ensure all City materials are neatly stacked where they were delivered.
HOW TO APPLY
Please apply for your Street Occupancy Permit at least 10 business days in advance by using this link: Block Party Street Occupancy Permit Application or apply in person at City Hall.
CONTACT INFORMATIONIf you have further questions please contact the City of New Westminster Engineering Department at 604-527-4592 or