[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Manchester at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to establish standards for playground development and the maintenance and/or funding of playground equipment, within the playgrounds and recreation areas in the Town of Manchester; to promote and protect the health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the people in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan establishing guidelines and criteria for open space, parklands and playgrounds.
Playgrounds should allow children to develop progressively and test their skills by providing a series of graduated challenges. The challenges presented should be safe and appropriate for age-related abilities and should be the type of challenges that children can perceive and choose to undertake.
Therefore, age-appropriate playground designs with reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of the children making it possible for an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal opportunity as provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The playground should accommodate these differences with regard to the type, scale, and layout of equipment throughout the Town of Manchester.
Land for park, playground or other recreational purposes as defined in § 277 of Town Law, Subdivision review; approval of plats; shall apply and include the following uses but not be limited to them:
In playground age-use design, the following terms shall be interpreted as follows:
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALTERNATIVE PARK OR PLAYGROUND
- An area designed to be used as a park or playground situated within a municipality and/or the Town of Manchester.
- CRITICAL HEIGHT
- The fall height below which a life-threatening head injury would not be expected to occur.
- DESIGNATED PLAY SURFACE
- Any elevated surface for standing, walking, sitting or climbing, or a flat surface greater than two inches wide having an angle less than 30% from horizontal.
- EMBANKMENT SLIDE
- A slide that follows the contour of the ground and at no point is the bottom to the chute greater than 12 inches above the surrounding ground.
- Any condition that impedes withdrawal of a body or body part that has penetrated an opening.
- A means for anchoring playground equipment to the ground.
- An enclosing device around an elevated platform that is intended to prevent inadvertent falls from the platform.
- Material(s) used in a protective barrier to prevent a user from passing through the barrier, e.g., vertical bars, lattice, solid panel, etc.
- LOOSE-FILL SURFACING MATERIAL
- A material used for protective surfacing in the use zone that consists of loose particles such as sand, gravel, wood fibers, or shredded rubber.
- NONRIGID COMPONENT
- A component of playground equipment that significantly deforms or deflects during the normal use of the equipment.
- An active recreational area with a variety of facilities including equipment for younger children that can vary in size from 1,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
- PRESCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
- Children two years of age through five years of age.
- PROTECTIVE BARRIER
- An enclosing device around an elevated platform that is intended to prevent both inadvertent and deliberate attempts to pass through the barrier.
- PROTECTIVE SURFACING
- Surfacing material in the use zone that meets the current and the standards set forth in publication No. 325, Section 4.5 of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in accordance with ASTM F1292.
- RECREATION FACILITY
- A place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports and leisure-time activities.
- RECREATION FACILITY, COMMERCIAL
- A recreation facility operated as a business and open to the public for a fee.
- RECREATION FACILITY, PERSONAL
- A recreation facility provided as an accessory use on the same lot as the principal permitted use and designed to be used primarily by the occupants of the principal use and their guests.
- RECREATION FACILITY, PUBLIC
- A recreation facility open to the general public usually owned and operated by a governmental agency.
- RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- A residential development planned, maintained, operated, and integrated with a major recreation facility, such as a golf course, ski resort, or marina.
- ROLLER SLIDE
- A slide that has a chute consisting of a series of individual rollers over which the user travels.
- SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
- Children five years of age through 12 years of age.
- SLIDE CHUTE
- The inclined sliding surface of a slide.
- STATIONARY PLAY EQUIPMENT
- Any play structure which does not move or does not have component that move during its intended use.
- TOT SWING
- A swing generally appropriate for children under four years of age that provides support on all sides of the occupant.
- TUBE SLIDE
- A slide in which the chute consists of a totally enclosed tube or tunnel.
- UNITARY SURFACING MATERIAL
- A manufactured material used for protective surfacing in the use zone that may be rubber tiles, mats or a combination of rubber-like materials held in place by a binder that may be poured in place at the playground site and cures to form a unitary shock-absorbing surface.
- UPPER BODY EQUIPMENT
- Equipment designed to support a child by the hands only (e.g., horizontal ladder, overhead swinging rings).
- USE ZONE
- The surface under and around a piece of equipment onto which a child falling from or exiting from the equipment would be expected to land.
The following shall be required:
Site development plan.
An engineer licensed in the State of New York shall certify the playground design, placement of equipment, equipment, surfacing, maximum safety and adequacy of playground size and equipment commensurate with a maximum density or use of the application and shall be in conformance with this chapter. Single-family residential homes are exempt.
No park or playground shall be less than 15,000 square feet. All playground equipment shall have the certification and shall be approved by IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturer's Association) in conformance to the ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) 1487-01 standard, Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public Use. The current standard for certification shall apply. Playground equipment shall carry the IPEMA logo. Publication No. 325 of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and or most current Handbook for Public Playground Safety shall apply.
Playground equipment shall be maintained. Equipment not in repair, unsafe or uncertified shall be immediately secured from use, and/or removed. Said equipment shall be made unavailable for use until approved repairs or conditions are corrected.
Protective surfacing shall be unitary or loose-fill maintained in accordance with the voluntary standard for playground surfacing systems, ASTM F1292 (The American Society for Testing and Materials):
At least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials. This chapter and current safety standards shall apply.
Surfacing extends at least six feet in all directions from play equipment. This chapter and current safety standards shall apply.
For swings, the surfacing shall extend, in front and back, twice the height of the suspending bar. This chapter and current safety standard shall apply.
Structures more than 30 inches high shall be spaced at least nine feet apart. This chapter and most current standard shall apply.
Planning Board may waive requirements when reasonable improvements or modifications are made commensurate with the standards set forth by this chapter and applicable law or standards. All such waivers with explanation for such action shall be set forth in writing and entered into the minutes of the Planning Board. Exception: Site development plan may not be waived.
Alternative park or playground site shall be within 1/2 mile of said residence or facility or other permitted use.
Disapproval may be exercised where appropriate conditions are requisite in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare or where conditions are inappropriate because of inadequacy or condition:
Alternative park review.
The applicant shall demonstrate to the Planning Board that there exists an alternative or preexisting park or playground site. The site shall be suitably located and not more than 1/2 mile from said residence, facility or other permitted use which may or may not be in accordance with this section of this chapter.
The applicant may provide to the planning board a proposal, design and implementation plan and schedule in writing for the use and or improvements to said park, playground or other area. The application, design and implementation plan shall be supported by a certified licensed New York State engineer and seal, demonstrating that the park or parks are suitably located and playground equipped, and adequate for the additional applied use. This section of this chapter shall apply.
The Planning Board after its review shall refer said application the Town Board with its written recommendations or recommendation for rejection attached. The Town Board may accept or reject said proposal. The Town Board upon review may require the applicant to pay such reasonable costs of developing, engineering, or upgrading and maintenance of the proposed facility.
The facility may be publicly or privately owned. A contractual agreement to use, maintain or provide equipment to any such facility between the owner and the applicant shall be provided and subject to approval by the Planning Board.
The Code Enforcement and/or Building/Zoning Officer shall be responsible for the inspection of site, development, standards, safety of equipment and site, improvements, and/or repairs, including coordination with the Town Engineer and other officials and agencies, as appropriate.
The Director of Recreation, Parks and Playgrounds in conjunction with the Code Enforcement Officer shall review the site plan and site development, equipment and standards prior to approval or use or implementation.
The Planning Board may consult with the Zoning Officer and Town Engineer, as well as with other advisory persons, officials, agencies, and consultants.
Fee reimbursement set forth in Chapter 175 of the Code of the Town of Manchester shall be applicable to all reasonable administrative costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the Town of Manchester in reviewing and processing municipal applications, which may or may not be approved. The assessment of such fees shall be subject to the audit of the Town Board.
Reimbursable expenses. No building permit or zoning permit shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter until all expenses incurred by the Planning Board for consultation fees or other extraordinary expenses in connection with the review of a site plan are reimbursed by the applicant to the Town.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until all improvements shown on the site plan are installed or a sufficient performance guaranty shall be determined by the Planning Board after consultation with the Zoning Officer, Town Attorney, Town Engineer or other appropriate parties.