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Special events get close review of rules

Santa Barbara County is considering new rules to keep the peace when special events are held on private property, but getting a plan together has taken months of meetings.

The Board of Supervisors has been asked to support a “Good Neighbor” policy. That’s where party planners and property owners agree to keep the music down after 10 p.m. and reduce the traffic impacts, along with other issues that have been raised by residents near special events throughout the county.

They are routinely held from Montecito to the Santa Ynez Valley. Some are lavish weddings. Some are fundraisers for nonprofit groups.

Many workers in the hotel, catering, and event planning industries say if new rules are implemented, they could hurt future bookings and ruin local business. They also said many jobs would be lost.

County officials heard from more than 40 speakers on the issue Tuesday. A decision on what, if any new rules should be implemented has been delayed until June.

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