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Vehicle-Based Gatherings During COVID-19

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City of Fremont Class II Special Event Permit for Vehicle-Based Gatherings

On May 18, 2020, the Alameda County issued an order permitting highly regulated vehicle-based gatherings (HO Order 20-12) A Vehicle-Based Gathering Permit is required for such events regardless of number of participating vehicles. Gathering planners must apply for a permit at least 14 days in advance of the proposed event. The application process, including documentations needed, is outlined below. The permit is considered a City of Fremont Class II Special Event Permit and requires a $75 permit fee. General questions can be directed to Amy Gee via email or phone: (510) 790-6967.  

Gathering planners must also apply for any other jurisdictional permits and permissions necessary (e.g. School Districts, East Bay Regional Park Districts, etc,) in addition to the City of Fremont Special Event Permit for Vehicle-Based Gatherings. The use of City parks or City property, if requested, will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  A 14-day permit cannot be guaranteed.

  • If your event requires usage of City parks, contact Michael Sa at Parks and Recreation via email or phone: 510-494-4372.  You will need a permit from the City's Parks and Recreation Division and do not need submit application materials located on this page. 
  • If your event requires usage of other City property, or is hosted by the Fremont Unified School District, the Ohlone College, or other public schools located on State property, contact Amy Gee at Fremont Police via email or phone: (510) 790-6967 prior to submission of an application.  

Vehicle gatherings of up to 200 cars at a time, for no longer than 3 hours, are permitted under the following conditions:

  • The new Vehicle Gathering Order is intended to permit graduation ceremonies and religious activities.
  • Gathering must be held outdoors, in parking lots and must be by invite only.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 cars must have onsite security, requested by a private security firm if the organizer does not employ security guards.
  • Face coverings and social distancing must be adhered to by security and on-site event organizer.
  • Vehicles must park 6 feet apart, and size/space of location will determine number of cars allowed. The 6-foot distance is required on all sides of a vehicle.  
  • Parking arrangement must accommodate emergency vehicle access. There must be a 20-foot aisle clearance from vehicle entry point to any buildings located on site, and there must be a 20-foot aisle clearance immediately adjacent to all sides of buildings located on site.  
  • No food or drink sales, distribution or exchanges of any items between vehicles or organizers are permitted at the event. Exception: the host may provide a significant paper document to one participant at a time.
  • Any food/drink or refuse brought by occupants of a vehicle must remain in the vehicle.
  • Occupants of the cars:
    • must be of the same household
    • must wear face coverings if the windows are open
    • must remain in the car at all times, except to go to the bathroom (if one is provided), or if host expresses permission for a brief period of time (limited to one vehicle at a time)
    • may not linger/socialize with occupants of other cars if outside the car
  • Vehicles must be enclosed.  No convertibles, motorcycles or vehicles without doors may participate. All applicable vehicle codes apply.
  • Bathrooms, if available, must be disinfected by event personnel between uses. A line system adhering to social distancing requirement must be established and monitored by event personnel.  No more than 10 people are allowed to wait in line at any given time.  Hand sanitizer or hand washing station must be available. 
  • Amplified sound will be limited; radio transmission is recommended.  For example, audio can be delivered using car radio, telephone conference calls, or live streams via: Zoom, Facebook, Youtube, or other platforms.
  • If usage of City property usage is granted, the event organizer must provide a minimum $1,000,000 liability insurance certificate and additional insurance endorsement with the City of Fremont as additional insured. Details about insurance requirements can be found here.
  • Event host must review the entire health order carefully to ensure adherence to all necessary requirements. 
  • Event host must comply with any newly established Alameda County guidelines, revisions to Health Order No. 20-12, or revisions to any related or applicable Health Orders issued by the Alameda County prior to the event.

Other Considerations:

  • Events should take place between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (exceptions may be made for unusual circumstances);
  • Event notifications to nearby residents and businesses may be required.
  • Parked vehicles are recommended to have engines turned off.
  • Events with high number of attendance or vehicle line up should consider staggered arrival.
  • The event host may establish additional criteria, such as limiting length of participating vehicles or allowing only one vehicle per family. 
  • Events should restrict honking of cars except when needed for safety reasons.

Additional information on the Alameda County Health Orders can be found on the county's website


To apply for a City of Fremont Vehicle-Based Gathering Permit:

Complete and submit the required documents and any other applicable documents via email to Amy Gee at least 14 days prior to your proposed event date. Note: a typical email only allows a total attachment size of 20 mb.  If your documents are significant in size, consider uploading them to a server (google drive, dropbox, etc.) and provide a download link.

Required Documents:

  1. City of Fremont Class II Special Event Permit Application for Vehicle-Based Gatherings
    • Please download the form first, then open to complete the form and save.  Certain web browsers or plugins may not save the content correctly if you complete the form within a web browser. 
  2. Payment Form for Special Event Permit Fee
  3. Appendix A: Highly-Regulated Vehicle-Based Gathering Plan COF
    • Note: The County requires the Gathering Plan to be provided in advance to all invitees. and posted prominently at the gathering location.
  4. Attachment A: Event Site Plan
    • No template provided - can be hand drawn or computer created

Other Documents: Depending on your event, the following documents may be required. No templates are available for these documents.

  1. Attachment B: Traffic Control Plan
  2. Attachment C: Parking Plan
  3. Attachment D: Vendors List
  4. Property Usage Permission
  5. Insurance Certificate
  6. Additional Insured Endorsement Page with City of Fremont as additional insured 

You must submit your permit application ASAP and at least 14 days prior to the scheduled event, Submission of a permit application does not guarantee issuance of a permit. The City will begin processing of your permit upon your submission,and will contact you if additional information is required.


FAQs Regarding Vehicle-Based Gathering Permits

  1. Why do I need a Special Event Permit for a Vehicle-Based Gathering?  
    • Section 8.b.viii Local Law of the Vehicle-Based Gathering Health Order requires vehicle-based gatherings to comply with local jurisdiction requirements including any permit program established by the local jurisdiction.  A vehicle-based gathering is considered a special event and is governed by the City of Fremont's Special Events and Parades Ordinance (Chapter 12.25 Fremont Municipal Code). A Special Event Permit is required any time an organized activity takes place that falls outside the generally intended usage of the property (e.g. the use of a parking lot for events.)  For more information on special events please visit this page

  2. Do I need a permit if I am offering curbside pickup for my business/organization as allowed under the Shelter in Place Order and its subsequent revisions?
    • No.  If you are offering curbside pickup as allowed under the general Shelter in Place Order, you do not need a special event permit/a vehicle-based gathering permit.  Curbside pickups are not considered a vehicle-based gathering. You must, however, abide by requirements set forth by the Shelter in Place Order (e.g. 6 ft social distance, mask wearing, etc.)

  3. Why is there a fee for the permit?
    • The permit fee is dictated by the City's Special Events Ordinance.  Once an application is received, the information is reviewed by a special event committee consisted of City personnel, including but not limited to Police, Fire, Street Maintenance, Environmental Services, etc. to ensure public safety and  compliance with any other applicable City ordinance.  The fee is used to cover the administrative cost of reviewing and processing the permit.

  4. Can I host multiple events with a single permit? Or do I need a separate permit for each event?
    • At this time, a permit can be granted for recurring events that are scheduled to occur until October 31, 2020, provided that the recurring events have the exact same set up and are intended for the same purpose (e.g. weekly Sunday services in the same manner). A recurring permit maybe extended without a fee. The permit, however, may be modified, cancelled, or further extended depending on guidelines from the Alameda County.  If you intend to have recurring events, you must list all anticipated event dates and times on your special event application.
    • If your events have different setup or different purposes, you would need a separate application/permit for each event.

  5.  What kinds of vehicles are allowed?  Are there any restrictions on the length, height, or size of a vehicle?
    • Vehicles must be fully enclosed and all applicable vehicle codes apply. No convertibles, bicycles, scooters. motorcycles or vehicles without doors may participate. Although there is no vehicle length, height, or size restrictions set forth by the County, the event organizer may impose these restrictions, if desired.  Event hosts should consider if lengthy vehicles (limos, RVs, etc.) can successfully maneuver in the parking lot, or if there is sufficient space for parking.  Large/tall vehicles may also hinder the views of other vehicles during an event.  Please keep in mind that the order does restrict occupants of the vehicle, including the driver, to be of the same family.  Therefore an exceptionally large vehicle should not be necessary.  

  6. I don't know how many cars can park in the 6-ft distance manner in the parking lot, How should I plan for the event?
    • The parking requirement generally reduces the number of allowable parking spaces in a parking lot to 25-30% of its normal capacity. For example, a parking lot designed with 200 regular parking spaces will likely only accommodate 50 - 60 vehicles for a vehicle-based gathering.  To allow up to 200 vehicles at a gathering, the event site would require approximately 675 - 800 regular parking spaces. This estimate also takes into consideration the 20 ft emergency vehicle clearance required.  However, actual numbers of vehicles may vary depending on the size of attending vehicles, and the shape and other design elements/structure of the parking lot.  One approach is to have a system in place where personnel can close down the parking lot (or refuse entry) once the parking lot is full or 200 vehicles have entered, whichever comes first.
    • Please keep in mind the event is by invite only.  Event hosts should limit invitation to 200 vehicles, or have a RSVP system in place to cap attendance at 200 vehicles max, and to verify arriving vehicles are on the invitation list. 

  7.  How long does it take to receive the permit?
    • The permit will be emailed to the applicant and in most cases, we try to process the permits within a few business days.  However, processing time is dependent upon the volume of applications received and the complexity of your event. For example, if your event includes a stage, you will need a separate stage permit from the City of Fremont's Planning Division. Depending on the location of the event, a notification may need to be mailed to nearby residents and businesses. If additional insurance endorsement is required, it may take an insurance company a week to provide the document.  A permit cannot be issued until these items have been completed.  Please plan accordingly and submit your application ASAP.

  8. What should I do if I plan to have at stage at the event?
    • In addition to the vehicle-based gather permit, you will need a stage permit from the City of Fremont's Community Development Plans and Permits Division. Please contact Barbara Yee Charlson via email or phone (510) 494-4561 for the more information. In most cases, it takes more than 14 days to receive a stage permit.  The typical stage permit processing time is more than a month.  Please plan accordingly and submit both your special event permit application and your stage permit application ASAP.