A Comprehensive Guide to Hosting a Block Party in Brooklyn, New York

Are you eager to unite your community for an unforgettable block party in Brooklyn, New York? From navigating the permit process to organizing engaging activities, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you plan a successful event. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, fostering a sense of togetherness has never been easier.

1. Join Forces with Your Local Block or Tenant Association

Before diving into the permit application process, align yourself with your local block or tenant association. This collaboration is crucial; the application must be submitted two months before the event. If you need a block association or tenant organization, here are some tips on how to start one. Michael Corley, treasurer for the Union Street Block and Civic Association in Crown Heights, suggests exploring electronic options for gathering signatures and support to streamline the application process.

2. Secure Majority Resident Support

Gain support from most residents on your block who are enthusiastic about the upcoming party. Connect with your community board and local police precinct to understand the specific requirements for your block and community district. Signatures, either electronically or on a paper petition, will likely be involved, so be prepared to engage your community effectively.

3. Plan an Exclusive Residents-Only Event

Ensure that your block party is exclusively for residents and not open to neighborhood businesses. Planning missteps, like indicating that local companies could participate, can lead to application denials. Once you have proof of majority resident support, start your application for a permit here.

4. Submit a Thoughtful Permit Application

Keep in mind the following key details while submitting your permit application:

  • Applications must be submitted 60 days before the event via the E-Apply portal.
  • It is useful to offer alternative dates, as the portal lacks a calendar showing open dates.
  • Application fees amount to $25, payable by credit or debit card.
  • The party can only last for nine consecutive hours, including setup and winding down, with a curfew at 8 p.m.
  • The event must be open to everyone on the block, with no admission charges.

5. Document Compliance and Gather Additional Permits

To enhance the chances of permit approval, ensure you have all the necessary details in order. Connect with your community board and precinct for guidance. Regularly check the E-Apply portal for updates on the status of your application. Additionally, be prepared to apply for additional permits from various agencies, such as the NYPD, FDNY, Department of Buildings, Department of Transportation, and Department of Consumer Affairs, depending on your planned activities.

6. Block Party Do’s and Don’ts

Understanding the dos and don’ts of a city-permitted block party is essential. Notably:

  • Block parties are solely for neighbors, and advertising or selling goods and services is strictly prohibited.
  • Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO)  will redirect applicants seeking such activities to permits for “Civic Events” or “Commercial Events.”
  • Fire pits and whole pig roasts are strictly prohibited.
  • Drinking or serving alcohol at permitted block parties is illegal.

By following these steps and guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a block party that brings your community together and adheres to the necessary regulations. Remember, the key to a successful block party lies in careful planning, community collaboration, and a commitment to creating memorable experiences for everyone involved.

If you’re interested in learning about buying or selling in Brooklyn, download our free Buying Into Brooklyn Ebook or our Seller’s Guide. We share a ton of valuable resources to demystify the buying and selling process.

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