[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 10-2-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-5, effective 10-2-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Ordinance for the Regulation of Conservation Land of the City of Lebanon."
Over the years, the City has acquired the ownership of various tracts of land to be held for public use, such as natural resource conservation, open space preservation, outdoor recreation, nature study, and other similar uses, and may acquire similar tracts in the future. In order to protect and preserve such tracts of land while allowing for reasonable public use, this Conservation Land Ordinance is hereby adopted.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to RSA 41:11-a, Town Property, 47:17, Bylaws and Ordinances, and 231-A:4, Public Trail Use Restrictions.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CONSERVATION LAND
- Any tract of land acquired by the City for the purposes of natural resource conservation, open space preservation, outdoor recreation, nature study, and other similar uses, as set forth in § 52-13 of this chapter, and to which the public has access as set forth herein. The location and boundaries shall be determined by reference to the deeds or other recorded documents by which the City acquired an interest therein.
- MOTORIZED VEHICLES
- Any motor vehicle, moped, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, off-highway recreational vehicle, or snow traveling vehicle as defined in RSA Chapter 259.
- POWER CHAIR
- A motorized wheelchair used by an individual with a disability or with infirmity.
- POWER SCOOTER
- A motorized chair, usually having three wheels and a steering column, used by an individual with a disability or with infirmity.
- SPECIAL PERMIT
- A permit issued by the City Manager, or his/her designated representative, in response to an application which contains the following information:
- A. A description of specific activity for which permission is requested.
- B. The location of the activity on the conservation land.
- C. The duration of the activity and the starting date.
- D. The name and address and telephone number of the person making the request and the name and address and telephone number of the person who will be responsible, if different from the applicant.
- E. If applicable, the name of the group for which the request is made.
- F. The number of people in the group and age level.
- WHEELED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle or contraption, with or without motive power, designed for carrying property or people wholly on its own structure that is supported on the ground by either inflated or solid wheels. The term shall also include, but is not limited to, roller skates, in-line skates, roller skis, skateboards, and mountain boards, so called.
The following activities, if pursued in a manner otherwise lawful, are permitted as a matter of right on conservation land, except when such lands are posted under § 52-11:
Hiking, to include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Nature study, observation, data gathering, or other educational activities; provided, however, that any such activity which entails making any physical changes to the land or its flora or fauna, including but not limited to the marking of study plots, erection of physical structures of any kind, or the cutting, gathering, or removal of vegetation or soil, shall require prior written permission of the Lebanon Conservation Commission.
Hunting of wild game as otherwise may be permitted by state or City law during the designated seasons, unless prohibited by the posting of signs.
Mountain biking in places authorized by the Lebanon Conservation Commission and specifically posted for such use.
The following activities are allowed only after securing a special permit approved by the City Manager, or his/her designated representative, who shall notify the Lebanon Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, and Park Ranger:
The kindling of any fire, including any camp or cooking fire, after securing a fire permit from the Fire Department.
Camping in conformance with the Camping Policy adopted by the Lebanon Conservation Commission on October 28, 2010, as may be amended from time to time.
[Amended 12-1-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-3]
Any person aggrieved by a decision made by the City Manager concerning a request for a special permit may, within five working days of receipt of the decision, file a written appeal with the Lebanon Conservation Commission setting forth the reasons why the appellant is aggrieved. The Lebanon Conservation Commission shall meet and review the appeal within 45 days from the date of the appeal being filed. The decision of the Lebanon Conservation Commission shall be final.
No person on any conservation land shall:
Deposit any rubbish, waste, or other offensive or unsightly material.
Travel by any motorized vehicle or by any wheeled vehicle, whether motorized or not, unless specifically authorized by the Lebanon Conservation Commission and specifically posted for such use.
Deface, destroy, or remove any sign, bench, fence, stone wall, or other structure(s), or any living plant material existing on the Conservation Land except for forestry and recreation management practices and educational activities specifically authorized by the Lebanon Conservation Commission.
Remove or have in his/her possession any animal's nest or remove the young or eggs of an animal, or injure or kill any animal unless operating with a valid license during hunting season as stated in § 52-5E, or remove injured or abandoned animals for the purpose of rehabilitation unless operating under valid state or federal permits.
Allow any pet under one's ownership or custody to enter onto Conservation land unless the animal is under the direct control of the owner or custodian.
Notwithstanding § 52-7B above, people with disabilities or infirmities are permitted to travel by wheelchair, power scooter, or power chair over trails designated for their use by the Lebanon Conservation Commission and specifically posted for such use.
There shall be exempted from the prohibition of vehicular use emergency vehicles as defined in RSA 259:28, and vehicles of the City of Lebanon used for the purpose of maintenance or repair of the conservation land or any sewer or water line contained therein.
Whenever the provisions of this chapter conflict with each other or with deed restrictions affecting any conservation lands, or with other municipal, state, or federal ordinances, statutes, laws, or regulations, the stricter provision shall govern.
In order to provide for the controlled and equitable use of the conservation lands and to protect the safety of users and to preserve the natural environment, the Lebanon Conservation Commission may issue, and provide for the proper posting of, rules and regulations which:
Fix times and dates when the conservation lands shall be closed to public use whenever such restrictions are necessary to protect the public or the lands;
Restrict the use of all conservation lands, individual conservation lands, or parts thereof, for any use which may be determined by the Lebanon Conservation Commission to be detrimental to forest or open space management after conducting a duly noticed public hearing; or
Lay out proper open space land uses in accordance with the open space plan and other management studies dealing with these conservation lands.
The penalty for a violation of this chapter shall be as set forth in RSA 41:11-b, as amended. In addition the violator shall be responsible for the restoration of the conservation land to the satisfaction of the Conservation Commission.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all tracts acquired as conservation land, as listed below, and to any other tract which may in the future be designated as conservation land by the City Council at the time of, or subsequent to, its acquisition by the City. Such designation of additional tracts shall not be required to follow the procedures for amending an ordinance.