City of Milwaukee Events: Guidelines, Ordinances, and Permits

UWM-City of Milwaukee Event Registration
City of Milwaukee Phase 4.1 Order
  • Masks required by both the City and the State.
  • Masks must be worn and social distancing of 6 ft must be maintained for all gatherings. Gatherings should occur outside if possible.
    • Indoors, you need to follow the guidelines for capacity:
    • Gathering Size Limits. “Gathering Size Limits” means the limit of individuals allowed to gather in a location. Under this Order, Gathering Size Limits are set at the lesser of: (i) 50% of the total occupancy of the location established by the City of Milwaukee, if any, (ii) one person for every 30 square feet of floor space open to the public (This does not include houses and houses should remain limited to the people who reside in that location), or (iii) 250 people, which is based on the CDC recommendations to cancel large gatherings of over 250 individuals. Nothing contained herein shall alter any requirement to ensure Physical Distancing in the manner set forth in this Order.
    • Physical Distancing. For purposes of this Order and to the extent possible under applicable laws including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “Physical Distancing” means maintaining physical distancing of six (6) feet between people not residing in a single living unit or household.
    • Protective Measure Requirements. For purposes of this Order and to the extent possible under applicable laws including but not limited to the ADA, “Protective Measure Requirements” means:
      • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer;
      • Covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands);
      • Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;
      • Not shaking hands;
      • Use of a mask or cloth face covering in accordance with Section 62-8 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances or any applicable state law. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Order, failure to comply with Section 1(e)(v) of this Order shall only be enforced in the manner set forth in Section 62-8-5 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances or any applicable state law.
    • Following all other public health recommendations issued by State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Current as of 10/19/2020

City of Milwaukee Ordinances
  • Occupancy Ordinance/Rooming House
  • Noise Violations
  • Nuisance Property Designation
  • Illegal Taverns – Milwaukee ordinances prohibit the sale of alcohol or cups at parties. Fines for an illegal tavern can range between $500 and $2000, with additional tickets for providing alcohol to minors citations. Serving underage drinkers can lead to stiff penalties. Remember, when you break the law, you may be breaking your lease.
  • Light Nuisance: Bright lights
  • 80-10 Noise Nuisances – The City of Milwaukee noise ordinance states that an owner of a property (residential, commercial, rental or owner occupied) may not have a noise nuisance on their property. Point source noise (factories, equipment on commercial buildings, etc.) is measured and regulated by the Department of Neighborhood Services. Intermittent noise (boom boxes, loud parties, live music, etc.) is measured by the police. If they can hear it 50 feet away from the property, they can issue a citation. If a citation is issued to an occupant ($240), MPD will forward a copy to DNS who will issue a notice of violation to the property owner. If a second citation is issued to the same tenant and the owner takes to action to correct the problem, DNS will notify the owner that the cost of police services and related administrative costs will be assessed against the tax bill of the property from where the noise was produced.
  • 80-11 After sets: Unlicensed sale, distribution, giving away of alcohol beverages and the operation of public entertainment that are not permitted or licensed by the city.
    • Police have the authority to seize sound-producing equipment
  • Illegal Signage
  • Littering/Illegal dumping
  • Noise Permit
  • Cost of permits
  • Special event permit calendar
  • Online Special Event Permit Form
    • “Special event” means any planned extraordinary, temporary use of the public right of way or public premises of 25 people or more including but not limited to parades, processions, demonstrations, bicycle or foot races, and festivals.
    • Applications must be submitted 30 days before your event
    • Must be approved by the District 1 Alderperson, Department of Public Works, and the Milwaukee Police Department
    • The “Neighborhood Approval Petition” must be signed by property owners or their representatives who will be directly impacted by the event and uploaded for submission with the Special Event Permit Application.
Costs, Fines and Violations

Failure to pull proper permits may result in fines from the city of milwaukee and future denial of events from UWM.