Special Event Permits

Our quaint little coastal town of Half Moon Bay offers a variety of wonderful filming locations for motion picture or commercial filming and is ideal for special events such as concerts, festivals or parades, neighborhood block parties and much more.

The City of Half Moon Bay requires a Permit for any special event/film production taking place within the City’s jurisdiction using roads, right-of-ways and properties to ensure proper traffic and pedestrian safety and circulation. It is also needed for law enforcement and Fire personnel making them aware of an event/film production to assure safe passageways for emergency personnel and vehicles in an emergency. These two entities are also included in the City of Half Moon Bay’s review and approval process. Once the Permit(s) and any attachments (maps, timeline, etc.), Certificate of Insurance and fee(s) are received, it will be reviewed and approved by the City’s Planning, Building, Public Works and Fiscal Management departments, as well as the San Mateo County Sheriff Office and Coastside Fire who are separate entities. Once your application has been approved you will be notified and a copy will be emailed to you.

Application Fees:

Special Event Permit Application

  • $224 to the City for minor special events (block parties, beach ceremonies, small fundraisers, business workshop/ribbon cuttings, etc).
  • $448 to the City for major special events (festivals, triathlons, fairs, carnivals, circus, parades, race, rodeo, amusement concessions miscellaneous event).

Coastside Fire District Special Event Application

  • $201.75

Film Permit Application

  • $576 per day

Sound Amplification Permit Application

  • $241


  • Certificate of Liability insurance $2 million naming the City of Half Moon Bay as the additional insured. The City of Half Moon Bay is not responsible for any accidents or damages to persons or property resulting from the issuance of this permit.
  • A Site Map showing the locations of properties in use, including proposed street closures, barricades, no parking signs, as well as, booths, tents, etc.
  • Note: It is the applicant’s responsibility to notify any other entities that may be involved in the event (i.e., CalTrans, Highway Patrol, State Parks and Beaches, etc.) and proceed in their processing requirements.
  • Fees and costs may be paid by cash, check or credit card (in person only). Checks should be made payable to "City of Half Moon Bay." Completed permit application packets must be mailed or dropped off at the Half Moon Bay Finance Department, City Hall Annex, 507B Purissima Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019.


  1. Complete application, review completeness and submit no less than 2 months prior to the date requested for permits (incomplete applications will not be accepted).
  2. Check if a sound amplification permit is necessary.
  3. The application will then be forwarded to Planning, Building, and Public Works for approval. The application will also be sent to the Fire District and Sheriff who are separate entities for approval. 
  4. If a planning department permit is needed, the planning permit needs to be approved first before the special event or film permit can be approved.
  5. Planning will check if there is a need for a coastal development permit, Coastal Development Permit Exemption, environmental review, bird surveys, or a biological report. (Examples: Within a Coastal Resource Area or sensitive habitat, creek cleaning, events at certain parks near sensitive habitat during the breeding season).
    1. CDP process and reports must be approved prior to the Special Event/Film Permits Permit can be issued. Applicant must notify surrounding businesses/residents of event.
  6. An administrative assistant will notify you if it is a Major or Minor Special Event and will contact you once all the departments approve the Special Event Permit.
  7. City Council is notified if event involves any street closures or of interest (concerts, etc.)
  1. Edward Behle

    Recreation Supervisor
    Phone: 650-750-2026