Township of Lower Merion, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Merion 4-21-1965 by Ord. No. 1480. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Harriton Historic District — See Ch. 88.
Agreements pertaining to Township-owned property — See Ch. A161, Art. I.
Park rules and regulations — See Ch. A168.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PARK
Includes playgrounds; arboreta and bird sanctuaries; bridle, fitness and hiking trails; children's playgrounds and tot-lots; nature parks; picnic areas; sledding areas; baseball/softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball and similar improved recreational areas; swimming pools; undeveloped public property; and the grounds surrounding any public building.
[Amended 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
VEHICLES
Any motorized device for carrying passengers or goods.
[Added 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
[Amended 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
All Township parks shall be operated and maintained under the general supervision of the Township Manager acting through the Director of Parks and Recreation and in accordance with policies established by the Board of Commissioners upon recommendation of its Parks and Recreation Committee.
[Amended 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650]
A. 
The Director of Parks and Recreation shall have immediate charge of all park maintenance, installation, repair and replacement of property and equipment therein and shall be chargeable with the duty of keeping the parks in a clean and sanitary condition at all times. He/she shall be in charge of the park maintenance employees.
B. 
The Director of Parks and Recreation shall have immediate charge of the use of all parks, park equipment and facilities, shall develop recreational programs under Township sponsorship and shall regulate and issue permits for the use of parks by community groups. He/she may promulgate general regulations for the use of parks subject to the approval of the Board of Commissioners. He/she shall be in charge of Parks and Recreation employees.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
[Amended 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 11-15-1978 by Ord. No. 1840; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650]
It shall be the duty of the Township Manager or his designee, assisted by the Lower Merion Police Department, to enforce the provisions of this chapter and all rules, regulations and resolutions adopted by the Board of Commissioners and by the Parks and Recreation Committee.
[Added 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
A. 
It shall be unlawful to wash or make other than emergency repairs to any motor or other vehicle in any Township park.
B. 
Except for those holding group permits, it shall be unlawful to engage in any organized group game, activity or instruction in any Township park except in such places specifically provided and set apart for such use.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for private individuals or groups to engage in fund-raising, profit-making or commercial activities in any Township park without a permit, which will only be issued to community-based organizations for an activity cosponsored by the Township and subject to restrictions and conditions which may be imposed by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
[Amended 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650]
D. 
It shall be unlawful to trespass on adjacent lands of residents or to harass the owners thereof.
E. 
Smoking. Smoking is defined as the carrying by a person of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other lighted smoking device. Smoking is prohibited in all Township parks, except for motor vehicle parking areas and any other smoking areas designated by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
[Added 1-17-2007 by Ord. No. 3806]
F. 
It shall be unlawful to park a boat trailer at a Flat Rock Park parking lot unless a permit has been issued therefor.
[Added 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942; amended 1-21-2015 by Ord. No. 4048]
G. 
It shall be unlawful to violate those Park Rules and Regulations set forth in Chapter A168 hereof.
[Added 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
A. 
No person in a park shall willfully mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with, displace or remove any building, table, bench, fireplace, railing, paving, waterline or other public utility or part thereof, sign, notice or placard, whether temporary or permanent, monument, stake, post or other boundary marker or other structure or equipment, facility or appurtenance, whether real or personal.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: For additional provisions pertaining to Township-owned structures and facilities, see Ch. 111, Peace and Good Order, Arts. II and III.
B. 
No person shall light or permit a fire to burn in a park except in fireplaces designed for such purpose.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
No person shall annoy, injure or kill any animal or bird in a park, or disturb any fish or waterfowl in streams, pools or ponds, or remove or carry away any bird's nest or egg. Nor shall any person injure or damage any tree, plant, shrub, fern, blossom, flower or turf. The picking of violets, buttercups, daisies or dandelions in parks, however, is permitted.
No person in a park shall fail to cooperate in maintaining rest rooms and washrooms in a neat and sanitary condition. No person over the age of five years shall use the rest rooms and washrooms designated for the opposite sex.
A. 
No person shall throw, discharge or otherwise place or cause to be placed in the waters of any pond, lake or stream in any park, or in any tributary, storm sewer or drain flowing into a park, any substance, matter or thing, liquid or solid, which may result in the pollution of said waters.
B. 
Refuse or trash shall be placed in proper receptacles, where they are provided. Where receptacles are not so provided, all such rubbish or waste shall be removed from the park by the person responsible for its presence and shall be properly disposed of elsewhere.[1]
[Amended 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 99, Littering; Handbill Distribution, Art. II.
[Amended 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942; 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 4068]
No person shall be allowed in a park or playground except between sunrise and sunset daily, local time; except the Township Manager, or his/her designated appointee, may establish different times during which particular parks or playgrounds shall be kept open for certain events operated or endorsed by the Township. It shall be unlawful for any person other than authorized Township personnel to occupy or be present in a park or playground during any hours in which the park or playground is not open to the public. Any portion of a park or playground may be closed to the public by the Township Manager, or his/her designated appointee, at any time, either temporarily or at regular or stated intervals.
[Amended 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
In view of the fact that the parks have been acquired and are maintained primarily for the use of residents and taxpayers of the Township, the Parks and Recreation Committee, or any person or persons designated by it, shall have the right to exclude therefrom any person who is not a resident or taxpayer of the Township. The Parks and Recreation Committee may likewise by resolution specify the conditions on which any particular park facility or building therein may be used by the public or by any organization or group. The Parks and Recreation Committee's exclusion of nonresidents shall be based upon a policy therefore approved by the Board of Commissioners.
[Amended 10-16-1991 by Ord. No. 3258]
A. 
Permits for the use of parks by groups of five persons or more desiring to engage in organized games, for overnight camping, for the use of picnic tables or for any other special purpose shall be issued by the Director of Parks and Recreation upon application therefor, unless an application therefor is made to the Director of Parks and Recreation in writing at least 48 hours before the applicant intends to use the same. An application fee shall be as set forth in the Township Schedule of Fees, as adopted and amended from time to time by the Board of Commissioners.[1] Any person to whom a permit is issued shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury sustained by any person by reason of the negligence or fault of the applicant, his servants, agents or employees.
[Amended 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A167, Fees.
B. 
The Township may allow certain park facilities to be used by permit and may provide that a fee be charged for making such reservations. Reservation fees shall be as set forth in the Township Schedule of Fees, as adopted and amended from time to time by the Board of Commissioners.
[Amended 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650]
C. 
Time slots for using parks and recreation areas can be reserved by permit, and will take precedence over other public use of the area.
[Added 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
D. 
Regulations for the use of any group permit can be imposed by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
[Added 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
[Amended 7-15-1981 by Ord. No. 1968]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to park a motor vehicle in any Township park, unless such person is a park patron who is using such park for park purposes during such time as such patron's motor vehicle is parked in such park, unless approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to park a motor vehicle in any Township park at any time other than during park hours, unless approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
C. 
No person shall park any motor vehicle in any portion of a park except in spaces set aside and marked for parking purposes, and no person shall occupy a parked motor vehicle after dark except with the interior lights turned on. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive recklessly in a park, and no person shall drive in a park in excess of the posted speed limit. No person shall enter or leave a park except by entrances or exits provided for such purposes, and no person shall drive a motor vehicle in a park except on a road or driveway.
[Amended 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 11-15-1978 by Ord. No. 1840; 8-1-1979 by Ord. No. 1872; 10-17-1979 by Ord. No. 1877; 5-21-1980 by Ord. No. 1909; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650; 3-17-2004 by Ord. No. 3705; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
It shall be unlawful for any person to bring any animal other than service dogs into a park or playground, except in the following cases:
A. 
Horses. Horses may be ridden on designated bridle trails.
B. 
Dogs.
(1) 
Dogs are allowed in the following parks and playgrounds, except that said dogs must be on-leash:
[Amended 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 4068]
(a) 
Ashbridge Memorial Park.
(b) 
Austin Memorial Park.
(c) 
Black Rock Road Park Site.
(d) 
Cynwyd Station Park.
(e) 
Cynwyd HeritageTrail.
(f) 
Eco Valley Nature Park.
(g) 
Flat Rock Park.
(h) 
Henry Lane Park.
(i) 
Kenealy Nature Park.
(j) 
Linwood Park.
(k) 
Merion Botanical Park.
(l) 
Merion Square Road Park Site.
(m) 
Mill Creek Valley Park.
(n) 
Pencoyd Park.
(o) 
Righters Mill Road Park Site.
(p) 
Rolling Hill Park.
(q) 
Sharpe Park and Bird Sanctuary.
(r) 
West Mill Creek Park.
(s) 
Williamson Road Park Site.
(2) 
Dogs are allowed in limited areas of the following parks, except that said dogs must be on leashes:
(a) 
Shortridge Park. Dogs are permitted in an area of Shortridge Park which is 1,050 feet in length and 65 feet in width.
[1] 
Said area can be entered or exited by dogs only from a northern or a southern point, both of which points are also the north and south terminuses of the one-thousand-fifty-foot length of the area. The northern entrance is from East Wynnewood Road and is 65 feet in width, and the east branch of Indian Creek is its eastern boundary. The southern entrance is the ten-foot-wide paved area which enters Shortridge Park from Parkview Road.
[2] 
The sixty-five-foot width of the permitted area commences at the west bank of Indian Creek and extends in a westerly direction therefrom for a distance of 65 feet.
(b) 
General Wayne Park. Dogs are permitted in an area of General Wayne Park, Merion, designated as the "dog walk," located on the north side of the elevated path which extends along the northern border of the park.
(c) 
Penn Wynne Park. Dogs are permitted in an area of Penn Wynne Park, Wynnewood, designated as the "dog walk," located in the wooded area on the east-southeast side of the tennis courts extending along the eastern border of the park.
(3) 
Dogs are allowed off-leash in the following parks and playgrounds with a valid permit, subject to rules and regulations approved by the Board of Commissioners:
(a) 
Rolling Hill Park.
(b) 
West Mill Creek Park.
(4) 
The owner or person in charge of any dog which defecates in any park shall, immediately following such act of defecation, properly wrap, package or protect said dog's feces so as to prevent unsightly disposal or smell or interference with the public health and welfare and shall remove and deposit the same in any public waste receptacle or in a garbage receptacle on the premises owned or rented by said owner or person in charge of said dog.
[Amended 5-15-1974 by Ord. No. 1719; 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
It shall be unlawful for any person in a park to drink or possess any alcoholic beverage, including beer or other malt beverages, except upon the grounds of Appleford and Harriton pursuant to a permit. The Appleford Committee and the Harriton House Association are hereby authorized to issue such permits for the facility under their jurisdiction subject to any regulations which the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Merion may approve and subject to the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and regulations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. No intoxicated persons shall be permitted in a park.
No gambling; obscene or indecent act; abusive, threatening, indecent or profane language; or conduct that annoys other persons shall be allowed in a park.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 111, Peace and Good Order, Art. VI, Disorderly Conduct Generally.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942; 9-19-2017 by Ord. No. 4115[1]]
Township parks shall be posted to prohibit the discharge of a firearm or bow except where authorized by the Board of Commissioners. The promiscuous use in a park of javelins, discuses or similar athletic equipment dangerous in character is prohibited unless used under the direct supervision of an authorized playground supervisor. The use of firecrackers, fireworks or rockets in a park is prohibited.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance changed the title of this § 109-16 from "Firearms; fireworks" to its current title.
[Amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
The use of bicycles, skateboards, motor-powered vehicles, or motor powered or propellant-driven model airplanes or rockets in a park is prohibited except at locations specifically designated for such purposes or otherwise approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation. The playing of golf in any park is prohibited except on putting greens and other locations provided for such purposes and specifically so designated.
[Added 12-16-1981 by Ord. No. 1981; amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
No person shall enter creeks or waterways within Township parks, or the waters of the Schuylkill River from Flat Rock Park for the purpose of swimming or bathing.
[Amended 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
No person shall appear in bathing attire in any park except within the limits of designated bathing places or areas, and all bathing costumes shall conform to commonly accepted standards. Persons over five years of age shall wear shirts or other proper covering, except for gentlemen while sunbathing. Dressing or undressing on any beach or in any vehicle, toilet or other place except in bathing houses provided for the purpose is prohibited.
[Amended 4-21-1976 by Ord. No. 1765]
A. 
Except as provided for in Subsection B hereof, no person in a park or playground shall:
(1) 
Expose or offer for sale any article of personal property, nor shall he station or place in a park or playground any stand, cart or vehicle for the transportation, sale or display of any such article. The solicitation of alms or subscriptions in a park or playground is prohibited.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 113, Peddling and Soliciting.
(2) 
Advertise or call the attention of the public in any way to any article or service for sale or hire.
(3) 
Paste, glue, tack or otherwise post any sign, placard, advertisement or inscription whatever on any tree, building, fence, playground equipment or other property in a park or playground.
B. 
The activities proscribed in Subsection A above may be performed if the Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution opening that particular park or playground for such activity and thereafter such person has obtained a permit from the Director of Parks and Recreation to conduct such activities in the particular park or playground so opened by resolution. Any application for a permit to be issued by the Director of Parks and Recreation shall be granted or denied by said Director based upon the following conditions and guidelines, and any permit issued by said Director shall be conditioned upon the following:
[Amended 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
(1) 
All permits shall expire no later than 30 days after date of issuance.
(2) 
No proposed activity shall be inconsistent with the terms or conditions contained in any instrument by which the particular park or playground premises were donated to or purchased by the Township of Lower Merion.
(3) 
The activity shall not present a threat to the public health, safety, morals or general welfare.
(4) 
The Director of Parks and Recreation shall designate in the permit the specific area or areas within the park or playground wherein the activity is to be conducted.
(5) 
The permit shall contain any additional conditions necessary to preserve the public health, safety, morals or welfare in any particular park.
(6) 
Any permit may be revoked at any time by the Director of Parks and Recreation if the permittee violates any of the terms, conditions or requirements of his permit or of this chapter, or if the permittee fails to keep his designated area free of refuse, garbage and rubbish.
[Amended 10-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1750; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 3650; 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
Certain parks and playgrounds shall be only for the use of persons of certain ages, and such certain parks and playgrounds and ages shall be as established by resolution of the Parks and Recreation Committee, subject to ratification by the Board of Commissioners. The Director of Parks and Recreation shall then post the ages of persons permitted to use or occupy such certain parks and playgrounds in such respective parks and playgrounds. It shall be unlawful for any person other than authorized Township personnel to use or occupy a park or playground if such person is not of an age permitted to use or occupy such park or playground.
[Added 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459; amended 4-20-2011 by Ord. No. 3942]
The Board of Commissioners may from time to time, by resolution, adopt a schedule of fees and charges for Township facilities. In addition, the Director of Parks and Recreation may establish a schedule of administrative fees for the use of Township facilities with the approval of the Township Manager.
[Amended 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802; 8-3-1988 by Ord. No. 3104; 7-16-1997 by Ord. No. 3459]
A. 
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable on conviction thereof to a fine or penalty of not more than $600 for each and every offense, to be collectible before any District Justice as like fines or penalties are now by law collectible.
B. 
Police may remove from any Township park or recreation area any person who, upon the complaint of any individual and upon the police acknowledging probable cause, is violating any law, Township ordinance, regulation or is otherwise disturbing the normal peaceful enjoyment of a Township park or the area surrounding such park.