SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – City leaders are pressing pause on some events in downtown Spartanburg.
On Monday, Spartanburg city leaders released a statement and announced a moratorium on private running races through downtown.
The city’s statement said, in part, “While we look forward to the return of private, destination running events to downtown Spartanburg, the city is placing a moratorium on such events in the downtown area while we examine best practices and policies for approving those events.”
“How we manage business activity, residential activity, along with special events requires a different approach,” said assistant city manager Mitch Kennedy.
Kennedy said the moratorium gives city leaders time to reassess their application and approval process for special events.
“We wanted to make sure that our processes were reconciling the higher demand for activities along with the additional growth in business activity, as well as residential activity,” said Kennedy.
He said, since the pandemic, they’ve had an increase in special event requests.
“We’ve seen a large number of requests for events in our downtown, which is awesome. It’s great that individuals want to gather, celebrate, convene in our downtown footprint,” said Kennedy.
He also said most events require road closures, law enforcement presence, and other logistics, but said the events can cause inconveniences for people who live, visit, and work downtown.
“It requires a lot of logistical preparation in advance: moving cars, communication to residents that live downtown to say, ‘Hey, you can’t park here.’ To businesses, to say, ‘Hey, this street is going to be closed,'” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said the decision is not in response to any isolated event and he believes it will allow the city to better manage future requests.
“It’s making sure we have the appropriate measures in place, the appropriate management, the appropriate capacity in place to ensure a quality event and a safe event and an event that’s beneficial to our community, “said Kennedy.
City leaders said the moratorium will not affect non-profit holiday running events, like the Turkey Day Race. Kennedy did not give a timeline for when the moratorium could be lifted.