Public, businesses chime in on proposed changes to commercial tent regulations

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | 8:24 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — City staff met with members of the community Tuesday evening to discuss proposed changes to the city's commercial tent ordinances.

About two dozen individuals were present at the meeting, including officials from the Community Development Department, members of the Columbia Fire Department, representatives from businesses that use commercial tents and representatives from businesses that supply commercial tents.

The meeting began with comments from city staff, including a brief history and explanation of the proposed changes by Building Regulations Supervisor Phil Teeple.  The proposed changes include:

  • Relaxing separation distances required between temporary structures and lot lines, buildings, other temporary structures, parked cars or internal combustion engines.
  • The creation of short-term (three days or fewer) and long-term (four to 180 days) permits.
  •  A single permit for short-term special events that utilize multiple tents.
  • The mandatory review of parking permits if a tent is to be placed in a parking lot long-term.
  • Stating on the permit that exit signs, adequate lighting, no smoking signs and fire extinguishers are required. Other modifications to the permit are being considered as well.

Following this, the floor was opened to the public.  Attendees discussed increasing the maximum length of time allotted to the proposed long-term permit to 270 days. They also discussed whether or not there is a need for long-term and short-term permits, as well as what the definition of "adequate anchoring" is.

City staff said the information gleaned from Tuesday evening's forum will be taken into account if the city's commercial tent ordinances are changed.

The current ordinance is based on the 2009 editions of the International Fire Code and the International Building Code.

Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.

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