• Film Office

Office of the City Manager

  • Creating a Special Filming District


    The Special Filming District Guidelines apply to residentially zoned areas and can be requested by the neighbors with a petition of 2/3rd’s of the property owners within the area defined on the petition or by the Film Liaison upon receipt of complaints involving filming volume, problematic logistics (i.e. lack of available parking for residents, etc.), previous filming violations or legitimate health and safety issues in the defined area.

    Once the establishment of these special guidelines is requested, staff will mail one notice with the dates and times for Workshop #1 and Workshop #2. Workshop #1 must be held at least 14 days from the mailing of the notice. Workshop #2 will occur at least 7 days after Workshop #1. Staff may also include a copy of our current filming ordinance and guidelines as well as any other special filming guidelines for information purposes.

    To maximize the efficiency of the process, the two workshops will be organized in the following fashion:

    Workshop #1: Introduce the concept and process of creating special filming guidelines. State the City’s philosophy regarding neighborhood empowerment and protection. Discuss the examples of what other neighborhoods have done. Allow time for those in attendance to define the filming problems they have experienced in their specific neighborhood.

    Workshop #2: Staff will provide some suggested guidelines for discussion based on the problems defined at Workshop #1. The neighbors will be asked to suggest guidelines they feel will help alleviate filming impacts in their neighborhood.

    After Workshop #2 is conducted, staff will prepare a draft of the suggested guidelines from the workshops and will ask the City’s legal staff to review. Any conflicting or legally indefensible guidelines will be identified by the City Attorney’s Office. The Film Liaison may also modify the guidelines if the suggested guidelines are so restrictive as to essentially eliminate all filming in the defined area.

    This process allows for the establishment of Special Filming District Guidelines without Planning Commission or Council approval. The guidelines may be established by the Film Liaison in cooperation with the neighbors. A finalized copy of the guidelines will be mailed to all residents in the defined area. Each property owner in the defined area will be mailed a ballot which allows him or her to accept or reject in its entirety the special filming district guidelines.

    If 2/3rd of the property owners accept, the Film Liaison will implement the special guidelines.

    However, as per section 17.104.030 of the Pasadena Municipal Code, decisions of the Film Liaison may be appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

    If a neighborhood decides it no longer wishes to have special filming district guidelines in their area, they may request it’s suspension with a petition of 2/3rd’s of the property owners within the defined area. Once this occurs, the area will be subject to the citywide ordinance and guidelines.