Township of Hamilton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Criminal history background checks for volunteers for youth-serving organizations — See Ch. 24, Art. I.
Boats and boating — See Ch. 130.
Fees — See Ch. 215.
Gangs — See Ch. 246.
Hunting and firearms — See Ch. 270.
Licenses and permits — See Ch. 285.
[Adopted as Ch. 98, §§ 98-1 through 98-7, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances]
A. 
No person in a public park or recreation area shall:
(1) 
Willfully mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with, displace or remove any buildings, bridges, tables, benches, fireplaces, railing, pavings or paving materials, waterlines or other public utilities or parts or appurtenances thereof, signs, notices or placards, whether temporary or permanent, monuments, stakes, posts or other boundary markers, or other structures or equipment, facilities or park property or appurtenances whatsoever, either real or personal.
(2) 
Fail to cooperate in maintaining restrooms and washrooms in a neat and sanitary condition. No person above the age of five years shall use the restrooms and washrooms designated for the opposite sex.
(3) 
Dig or remove any soil, rock, sand, stones, trees, shrubs or plants or other wood or materials, or make any excavation by tool, equipment, blasting or other means or agency.
(4) 
Construct or erect any building or structure of whatever kind, whether permanent or temporary, or run or string any public service utility into, upon or across such lands, except on special written permit.
(5) 
Damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree or plant, or injure the bark or pick flowers or seeds of any tree or plant, or dig in or otherwise disturb grass areas or in any other way injure the natural beauty or usefulness of any area.
(6) 
Climb any tree or walk, stand or sit upon monuments, vases, planters, fountains, railings or fences or upon any other property not designated or customarily used for such purposes.
(7) 
Tie or hitch an animal to any tree or plant.
(8) 
Hunt, molest, harm, frighten, kill, trap, pursue, chase, tease, shoot or throw missiles at any animal, wildlife, reptile or bird, or remove or have in his possession the young of any wild animal or the eggs or nest or young of snakes. However, any snake known to be deadly poisonous or deadly reptiles may be killed on sight.
(9) 
Throw, discharge or otherwise place or cause to be placed in the waters of any fountain, pond, lake, stream or other body of water in or adjacent to any park, or any tributary stream, storm sewer or drain flowing into such water, any substance, matter or thing, liquid or solid, which will or may result in the pollution of such waters.
(10) 
Have brought in or dump in, deposit or leave any bottles, broken glass, ashes, paper, boxes, cans, dirt, rubbish, waste, garbage, refuse or other trash. No such refuse or trash shall be placed in any waters in or contiguous to any park or be left anywhere on the grounds thereof, but such materials shall be placed in the proper receptacles.
(11) 
Drive any vehicle on any area except the paved park roads or parking areas or such areas as may on occasion be specifically designated as temporary areas.
(12) 
Park a vehicle in other than an established or designated parking area, and such shall be in accordance with posted directions thereat and with the instruction of any attendant who may be present.
(13) 
Leave a vehicle standing or parked at night in established parking areas or elsewhere in the park area.
(14) 
Leave a bicycle in a place other than a bicycle rack when such is provided and there is space available.
(15) 
Ride a bicycle without reasonable regard to the safety of others.
(16) 
Leave a bicycle lying on the ground or paving or set against a tree or in any place or position where other persons may trip over or be injured by it.
(17) 
Swim, bathe or wade in any waters or waterways in or adjacent to any park, except in such waters and at such places as are provided therefor and in compliance with such regulations as are set forth in this article or as may be hereafter adopted; nor shall any person frequent any waters or places customarily designated for the purposes of swimming or bathing, or congregate thereat, when such activities are prohibited by the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services upon a finding that such use of the water would be dangerous or otherwise inadvisable. This prohibition is applicable, but not limited to, lakes, streams, creeks and fountains.
[Amended 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065]
(18) 
Bring into or operate any boat, raft or other watercraft, whether motor-powered or not, upon any waters, except at places designated for boating. Such activity shall be in accordance with applicable regulations as are now or hereafter may be adopted.
(19) 
Navigate, direct or handle any boat in such a manner as to unjustifiably or unnecessarily annoy or frighten or endanger the occupant of any other boat.
(20) 
Launch, dock or operate any boat of any kind on any water between the closing hour of the park at night and the opening hour of the park the following morning or be on or remain on or in any boat during the closed hours of the park.
(21) 
Fish in any area where bathing is permitted.
(22) 
Carry or possess firearms of any description, or air rifles, spring guns, bows and arrows, slings or any other form of weapons potentially harmful to wildlife and dangerous to human safety, or any instrument that can be loaded with and fire blank cartridges, or any kind of trapping device. Shooting into park areas from beyond park boundaries is forbidden.
(23) 
Picnic or lunch in a place other than those designated for that purpose.
(24) 
Use any portion of the picnic area or any of the buildings or structures therein for the purpose of holding picnics to the exclusion of other persons, or use such areas and facilities for an unreasonable time if the facilities are crowded.
(25) 
Leave a picnic area before the fire is completely extinguished and before all trash is placed in the disposal receptacles, where provided. If no such trash receptacles are available, then trash shall be carried away from the park area by the picnicker to be properly disposed of elsewhere.
(26) 
Take part in or abet the playing of any games involving thrown or otherwise propelled stones, arrows, javelins, horseshoes, quoits, model airplanes or other unmanned aircraft systems, including drones, except in those areas set apart for such forms of recreation. The flying of model airplanes or other unmanned aircraft systems, including drones, shall be prohibited during Township special events.
[Amended 7-19-2016 by Ord. No. 16-026]
(27) 
Use any grill except those permanently located within a public park or recreation area. Charcoal grills may be brought and used. Propane grills are strictly prohibited.
[Added 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065]
(28) 
Smoke or vape in or within 25 feet of the athletic stands located in any Township-owned or -leased park or recreation area.
[Added 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065; amended 2-19-2019 by Ord. No. 19-009]
While in a public park or recreation area, all persons shall conduct themselves in a proper and orderly manner; and in particular, no person shall:
A. 
Bring alcoholic beverages or drink alcoholic beverages at any time, except for the distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages pursuant to a lawfully issued Township permit allowing alcoholic beverages.
[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 14-015[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Have in his possession, or set or otherwise cause to explode or discharge or burn, any firecrackers, torpedo rockets or other fireworks, firecrackers or explosives of flammable material, or discharge them or throw them into any such areas from lands or highways adjacent thereto. This prohibition includes any substance, compound, mixture or article that, in conjunction with any other substance or compound, would be dangerous from any of such standpoints.
C. 
Appear at any place in other than proper clothing.
D. 
Build or attempt to build a fire except in such areas and under such regulations as may be designated. No person shall drop, throw or otherwise scatter lighted matches, burning cigarettes or cigars, tobacco paper or other flammable material within any park or on any highways, roads or streets abutting or contiguous thereto.
E. 
Enter an area posted as closed to the public or use or abet in the use of any area in violation of posted notices.
F. 
Gamble or participate in or abet any game of chance except in such areas and under such regulations as may be designated by the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services..
G. 
Go onto the ice on any of the waters except such areas as are designated as skating fields, and provided a safety signal is displayed.
H. 
Sleep or protractedly lounge on the seats or benches or other areas, or engage in loud, boisterous, threatening, abusive, insulting or indecent language, or engage in any disorderly conduct or behavior tending to breach the public peace.
I. 
Disturb or interfere unreasonably with any person or party occupying any area or participating in any activity under the authority of a permit.
J. 
Paste, glue, tack or otherwise post any sign, placard, advertisement or inscription whatever, or erect or cause to be erected any sign whatever, on any public lands or highways or roads adjacent to a park.
K. 
Play music in the vicinity of the Veterans Park north, east and west entrance areas that may disturb other persons using the park. Music played on personal devices and audible only within 10 feet of the person possessing such device shall be permitted to be played in these areas. Music shall be permitted to be played in the vicinity of the Veterans Park south entrance pavilion areas. Hamilton Township sponsored events or special permitted events may be exempted from these restrictions.
[Added 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065]
L. 
Place or attach any decoration to any tree, post or any other structure located in a public park or recreation area by using nails, tacks or similar fastening devices. Decorations may only be placed or attached to structures that are being used pursuant to a permit, and must be placed according to the provisions set forth in the permit.
[Added 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065]
A. 
Except for unusual and unforeseen emergencies, parks shall be open to the public every day of the year during the designated hours. No person shall remain in any park or playground or recreation area after dusk, or remain in any park, playground or recreation area 30 minutes subsequent to the conclusion of any regularly scheduled Township or Township-authorized event. The regulation set out in this subsection shall be posted for public information.
B. 
Any section or part of any park may be declared closed to the public at any time and for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular and stated intervals (daily or otherwise), and either entirely or merely for certain uses.
[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 14-015]
Permits for group use of parks and park facilities, including but not limited to pavilions and athletic fields, shall be obtained by application to the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services in accordance with the following procedure:
A. 
Application. A person or organization seeking issuance of a permit under this section shall file an application, at least 14 days in advance, when practical, of the proposed group use with the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services, stating:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The name and address of the person sponsoring the activity, if any.
(3) 
The day and hours for which the permit is desired.
(4) 
The park or portion thereof for which such permit is desired. Permits for park and park facility use shall be required if the group using such park or park facility shall be 15 or more in number.
[Amended 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065; 7-21-2015 by Ord. No. 15-026]
(5) 
An estimate of the anticipated attendance.
(6) 
The type of activity to be conducted.
(7) 
Whether the applicant is a resident or nonresident of the Township. Applicants may be required to provide a roster of participants with their application, including the name and home address of each participant. League and tournament play on all athletic fields shall be restricted to Township residents only.
(8) 
Any other information which the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services shall find reasonably necessary to attain a fair determination as to whether a permit should be issued under this article.
(9) 
Permits cannot be transferred or assigned.
B. 
Standards for issuance. Standards for issuance of a use permit by the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services shall include the following findings:
(1) 
That the proposed activity or use of the park will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the general public enjoyment or the park.
(2) 
That the proposed activity and use will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the promotion of public health, welfare, safety and recreation.
(3) 
That the proposed activity or uses that are reasonably anticipated will not include violence, crime or disorderly conduct.
(4) 
That the proposed activity will not entail extraordinary or burdensome expense or police operation by the Township.
(5) 
That the facilities desired have not been reserved for other use at the date and hour requested in the application.
(6) 
Priority of applicants.
(a) 
The affairs of the Township shall take precedence over all other users of the parks and park facilities.
(b) 
Resident applicants will be given priority over other users for the use of Township parks and park facilities, based upon availability.
(c) 
Nonresident applicants will be given priority over commercial applicants for the use of Township parks and park facilities, based upon availability.
(d) 
Commercial applicants will be given the lowest priority for the use of Township parks and park facilities, based upon availability.
(e) 
In the event of a conflict between requesting applicants, the request received earlier will be honored first. In the event of a conflict between similarly classified applicants, such as athletic teams and/or groups, priority will be given to the applicant that is "in season" and/or the applicant that serves the higher percentage of Township residents, as determined by the Director of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services.
C. 
Appeal. Whenever in the opinion of the Director of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services the granting of a group use permit will violate any of the standards listed in Subsection B above, he or she shall refuse to issue a said permit. Whenever the Director of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services has refused to issue a group use permit, the applicant may appeal from such determination in accordance to Chapter 285, Licenses and Permits, of the Code.
D. 
Use of a park or portion thereof shall be restricted to the facilities, areas, dates and times expressly requested on the permit application. A permittee must be present at all times during use of the permit.
[Amended 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-065]
E. 
Compliance with park rules. A permittee shall be bound by all park rules and regulations and applicable ordinances fully as though the rules, regulations and ordinances were inserted in the permits.
F. 
When required by the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services due to the size of the group use, the services of a law enforcement officer or officers shall be obtained to maintain order. The services of such officers shall be obtained pursuant to § 5-66 of the Code.
G. 
Liability of permittee. The person or organization to whom the permit is issued shall be liable for all loss, damage or injury sustained by any person whatever by reason of the negligence of the person or organization to whom such permit shall have been issued. The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services shall have the right to require any permittee to submit evidence of liability insurance covering injuries to members of the general public arising out of such permitted activities, in such amounts as may be from time to time determined by the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services, prior to the commencement of any activity for which any permit is issued and shall also have the right to require that the certificate of insurance name the Township of Hamilton as an additional insured.
H. 
Fee. The fee for a permit for group use shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
I. 
There shall be a deposit paid to the Township in the amount set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, to assure that the park grounds and facilities will be left in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services will examine the grounds following use by such group and, upon determining that all of the rules have been complied with, the deposit will be returned to the permittee. If the rules have not been complied with, the deposit will be forfeited.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
J. 
Revocation. The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services shall have the authority to revoke a permit upon a finding of violation of any rule or ordinance or upon good cause shown, including but not limited to the falsification of any information required on the permit application.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former § 98-5, Permits for group use at Veterans Park, and § 98-6, Permit for group use of Switlik Park, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances, which immediately followed this section, were repealed 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 14-015.
[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 14-015]
A. 
The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services and park attendants shall, in connection with their duties imposed by law, diligently enforce the provisions of this article.
B. 
The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services and any park attendant shall have the authority to eject from the park area any person acting in violation of this article.
C. 
The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services and any park attendant shall have the authority to seize and confiscate any property, thing or device in the park or used in violation of this article.
[Adopted 7-1-2004 by Ord. No. 04-028 (Ch. 98, § 98-15, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances)]
[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 14-015]
The Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services shall promulgate rules and regulations concerning the use of the Township's dog park in Veterans Park.
The Township's Police Division shall have the authority to enforce the dog park's rules and regulations.