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The Scott County Board has tabled a decision on whether to approve proposed changes to the Renaissance Festival's permit to operate after last year's event caused serious parking and traffic problems in the southwest metro.

The county board voted unanimously to postpone the decision until its March 21 meeting after holding a public hearing related to amending the event's conditional use permit Tuesday.

"I don't think we're anywhere near approving it," said Commissioner Jon Ulrich of the changes. "I'd say we're at about the 30-yard line, maybe."

County board members said they wanted to see more detailed plans, signed contracts and guarantees that infrastructure improvements would be made.

"I can't make a decision without a firm transit plan," said Commissioner Jody Brennan. "I think busing is really the key to resolving this issue."

The festival, known as one of the country's largest and most successful Renaissance fairs, typically runs on weekends from late August through early October, drawing 300,000 visitors. It has been at its current site in Louisville Township, southwest of Shakopee, since 1973.

The event's permit has been in danger of revocation since November, when county staff alleged that officials from Mid-America Festivals, which runs the festival, violated conditions of their permit. The festival cannot be held without the permit.

"[Revocation] is still on the table," said Commissioner Barb Weckman Brekke.

Philip Kaplan, an attorney for Mid-America Festivals, explained festival officials' seven proposed amendments to the permit.

Festival officials said they would require attendees to have a date-specific voucher to park on site and limit the number of vouchers to 8,000. They said they would arrange for some attendees to take a bus or shuttle to the event, open the parking gates earlier and add two additional parking lots to the permit.

Festival officials have also contracted with a parking management company to make parking run more smoothly.

Brad Davis, the county's planning manager, said county staff didn't support several of the amendments. In particular, staff thought parking vouchers should be limited to 5,000 — meaning 5,000 vehicles could park at the festival each day — rather than 8,000.

A limit of 5,000 cars per day would be "tough" for the festival, Kaplan said.

Weckman Brekke said that while festival officials had made progress, Louisville Township still has questions they need answered and the board needs assurances festival officials will follow through with improvements like widening roads and grading parking lots.

"If those things don't happen, their CUP is gone," she said.