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Permitting and General Information

Permitting and General Information

Most public agencies in Santa Cruz County require permits for commercial still and motion picture photography. The Santa Cruz County Film Commission can assist in determining the appropriate permit jurisdictions for your locations.

The permitting applications and requirements for each of the agencies are available through the Film Commission. Permitting fees, processing times and requirements vary from agency to agency. General guidelines for each agency are provided below, but the Film Commission encourages production companies to contact the appropriate permitting agency early in pre-production stages for complete information.
 

City of Capitola
420 Capitola Ave., Capitola, CA 95010
www.cityofcapitola.org
Phone: 831.475.7300
Fax: 831.479.8879
Contact: Liz Nichols, Executive Assistant to the City Manager, lnichols@ci.capitola.ca.us

Use: Filming on public property within the Capitola city limits.
Fees: Vary per review.
Road encroachment permit fee: $50-300
Application Requirements: Application to Film in the City of Capitola
Insurance Requirements: An original certificate of insurance naming the City of Capitola, its agents, servants and employees as an additional insured in the amount of $300,000 per person for public liability and property insurance in the amount of $2,000,000.
Other Requirements: A business license for the City of Capitola is required.
Processing time: 2 to 4 weeks
Central Fire District: 831.479.6842
Fire Safety Officer fees: Fees vary
Capitola Police Department: 831.475.4935
Police Officer fees: $65 - $100 per hour

 

City of Santa Cruz
809 Center St., Room 8
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
www.cityofsantacruz.com
Phone: 831.420.5132
Fax: 831.420.5031
Contact: Kathy Agnone, kagnone@cityofsantacruz.com

Use: Filming on city-owned property within the Santa Cruz city limits.
Fees: The City of Santa Cruz does not charge fees for film permits or fire/pyrotechnic permits. Site fees for city park locations vary. Road encroachment fees vary as well.
Application Requirements: City of Santa Cruz Filming Permit Application
Insurance Requirements: An original certificate of insurance naming the City of Santa Cruz, its officers, agents and employees as an additional insured in the amount of $1,000,000 in general liability, at minimum. Please refer to www.cityofsantacruz.com for additional information.
Processing time: 2 weeks to 3 months
Police and Fire: Contact Special Events at 831.420.5132

 

City of Santa Cruz Water Department
212 Locust St., Ste. A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831.420.5203
Contact: Piret Harmon, Principal Analyst, pharmon@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us

Use: Filming at Loch Lomond Recreation Area
Fees and Requirements: To be determined upon review.

 

City of Scotts Valley
1 Civic Center Dr.
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
www.scottsvalley.org
Phone: 831.440.5600
Fax: 831.438.2793
Contact: Stephen Ando, City Manager

Use: Filming on city-owned property within the Scotts Valley city limits.
Fees and Requirements: To be determined upon review.

 

City of Watsonville
215 E. Beach Street #2000
P.O. Box 50000
Watsonville, CA 95077
www.cityofwatsonville.org
Phone: 831.768.3266
Fax: 831.728.9036
Contact: Doug Mattos, Sr. Administrative Analyst

Use: Filming on city-owned property within the Watsonville city limits.
Fees: To be determined upon review.
Application Requirements: Application and Authorization to Film in the City of Watsonville
Insurance Requirements: An original certificate of insurance naming the City of Watsonville, its officers, agents and employees as an additional insured in the amount of $1,000,000 in general liability and proof of workers' compensation coverage.
Other requirements: A business license for the City of Watsonville is required.
Processing time: 5 to 10 business days.

 

County of Santa Cruz
701 Ocean St, Room 520
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us
Phone: 831.454.3401
Fax: 831.454.3420
Contact: Jason Hoppin, Jason.hoppin@santacruzcounty.us

Use: Use of facilities owned and/or operated by the County, and County-owned property, including right-of-way.
Fees: The County of Santa Cruz does not charge a fee for an authorization to film. The site fee for filming at a county-owned park varies. For information on specific sites, contact the County Parks Department at 831.454.7956. If a road closure or intermittent traffic control on County-owned roads is required, a road encroachment permit is required. Fees vary. For more information, contact the County Department of Public Works at 831.454.2160.
Application Requirements: Santa Cruz County Application for Authorization to Film required only for use as specified above.
Insurance Requirements: Applicant shall exonerate, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the County, including its officers, agents, employees and volunteers for any and all liability for personal injury and property damage arising out of the applicant's activities. The applicant shall maintain Comprehensive General Liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1,000,000, naming the County as an additional insured. Applicant must provide the County a copy of the policy prior to the authorization to film being issued.
Other Requirements: Prior permission must be obtained to film anything identifying the County, i.e. vehicles or buildings with the County seal, or employees in uniform. For all road closures of County-owned roads, applicant must contract with California Highway Patrol for intermittent traffic control.
Processing time: 3-7 business days
Fire Department contact: Chris Walters, 831.335.6748
Fire Safety Officer fees: Varies
Police: California Highway Patrol, Sgt. Nick Ozanne, 831.662.0511
Police Officer fees: $79.15 - $99.55 per hour plus mileage
Pyrotechnics: Contact local Fire Departments, see list this page.

 

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
299 Foam St.
Monterey, CA 93940
http://montereybay.noaa.gov
Phone: 831.647.4207
Fax: 831.647.4250
Contact: Deirdre Whalen

Use and Requirements: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the California Department of Fish and Game prohibit aerial flights under 1,000 feet along Santa Cruz County's coastline due to the sensitivity of the marine and bird life in the area. However, a special use permit may be obtained in some cases.

 

California Department of Fish and Game
20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831.649.2942
Fax: 831.649.2894
Contact: Lt. Don Kelly, dkelly@dfg.ca.gov

Use and Requirements: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the California Department of Fish and Game prohibit aerial flights under 1,000 feet along Santa Cruz County's coastline due to the sensitivity of the marine and bird life in the area. However, a special use permit may be obtained in some cases.

 

Santa Cruz Port District
135 Fifth Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
www.santacruzharbor.org
Phone: 831.475.6161
Fax: 831.475.9558
Contact: Marian Olin, Administrative Services Manager

Use: Filming at harbor facilities
Fees: Negotiable, $50 minimum
Application Requirements: Special Event Permit Application
Insurance Requirements: An original certificate of insurance naming the Santa Cruz Port District, its officers, agents and employees as an additional insured for a minimum of $1,000,000 in general liability.
Processing time: 2 days

 

State of California
California Film Commission
7080 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 900
Hollywood, CA 90028
www.film.ca.gov
Phone: 323.860.2960
Fax: 323.860.2972
Contact for State Parks: Helene Dervishian, 323.860.2960 ext. 106
Contact for State Highways: David Booth, 323.860.2960 ext. 104
Contact for State Property and Buildings: Catherine Adamic, 323.860.2960 ext. 107
State Fire Marshal: Al Adams, 213.700.5884
CHP Film/Media Relations Officer: Cheyenne Quesada, 323.860.2960, Ext. 103

Use: Filming on state-owned property
Permit fees: The California Film Commission offers free online permitting and coordination for all state properties. State Park film monitor fee $79/hour. Fees also apply for site monitors, parking, and other cost recovery charges.
Application Requirements: Permits are required for filming and still photography, via an on-line permit application.
Insurance Requirements: A valid insurance certificate is required for all film permits. See www.film.ca.gov for details.
Processing Time: 4 business days required for most film permits. More time is required for any high impact permit requests such as filming on freeways.
Special requirements: The State Fire Marshal must review all permit requests which include stunts or pyrotechnic activities. California Highway Patrol officers are coordinated through Officer Cheyenne Quesada (323.860.2960 ext. 103). Filming at state parks and beaches requires the approval of the local park ranger. Please refer to the contact list below for each park.

 

California State Parks in Santa Cruz County

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

Castle Rock State Park
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

Fall Creek State Park
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Gabe McKenna, 831.763.7064

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

Manresa State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Natural Bridges State Park
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

New Brighton State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Palm State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Rancho Del Oso
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Seacliff State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Sunset State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Twin Lakes State Beach
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

Waddell Creek State Beach
Bill Dahl, 831.335.6324

Wilder Ranch State Park
Kirk Lingenfelter, 831.429.2881

 

Santa Cruz County Fire Departments

Aptos/La Selva FPD
Aptos, 831.685.6690

Aromas CDF Tri-County FD
Aromas, 831.726.3130

Ben Lomond FPD
Ben Lomond, 831.336.5495

Boulder Creek FPD
Boulder Creek, 831.338.7222

Branciforte FPD
Santa Cruz, 831.423.8856

Central Santa Cruz FPA
Santa Cruz, 831.479.6842

Felton FPD
Felton, 831.335.4422

Pajaro Valley FD
Watsonville, 831.722.6188

Santa Cruz FD
Santa Cruz, 831.420.5280

Scotts Valley FPD
Scotts Valley, 831.438.0211

University of California, Santa Cruz FD
UCSC, Santa Cruz, 831.459.3473

Watsonville FD
Watsonville, 831.768.3200

 

Zayante FPD
Felton, 831.335.5100

 

General information

Sales Tax

The base sales tax for Santa Cruz County is 9 percent. Lodging rates are subject to sales tax plus a transient occupancy tax of 11 percent throughout Santa Cruz County.

Child Labor

Minors aged 15 days to 18 years employed in the entertainment industry must have a permit to work, and employers must have a permit to employ issued by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). These permits are also required for minors making phonographic recordings or who are employed as advertising or photographic models. Permits are required even when the entertainment is non-commercial in nature. For more information, please contact the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement at 510.285.2118 or DLSE2@dir.ca.gov or visit www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.  The nearest DLSE offices are:

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
San Jose
408. 277.1266
100 Paseo de San Antonio, Suite 120
San Jose, CA 95113  

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
Salinas
831.443.3041
1870 N. Main St, Suite 150
Salinas, CA 93906

Animals in Film and Television
Producers using animals in their productions are obligated to notify the American Humane Association's Film & TV Unit in advance of their shoot, regardless of where the filming occurs. The American Humane Association's role is to prevent cruelty and to ensure the saftey of the animal and human actors that perform in films and television. The American Humane Association is the only organization authorized by the entertainment industry to monitor the treatment of animals in film and television and to award the coveted "No Animals Were Harmed®" end credit disclaimer. The American Humane Association does not charge for monitoring SAG domestic productions filming in the United States. For more information and guidelines, visit www.americanhumane.org/film or call 818.501.0123.

 

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