City of Ithaca, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Circle Greenway Commission — See Ch. 22.
[Adopted 5-2-1984]
[Added 12-23-1993 by Ord. No. 93-27[1]]
A. 
The Common Council hereby affirms the City of Ithaca's commitment and intent to protect and maintain the following three uses on City holdings within the Six Mile Creek Natural Area, (which area includes the City Watershed and Wildflower Preserve), and which area is defined on a map entitled "Six Mile Creek Natural Area," dated December 1, 1993, which map is filed in the City Clerk's office:
(1) 
The water supply system, including the reservoirs, raw water line, dams, access roads and the necessary maintenance and alterations to keep the water system operational for present and future use.
(2) 
The current natural resources and natural character of the area, which includes an exceptionally rich flora and fauna in a unique habitat with adjacent buffer land.
(3) 
The opportunities for passive, low-impact recreation appropriate for a natural area of which the City of Ithaca has few that are public and easily accessible.
B. 
In its effort to protect and maintain these attributes, the City shall be guided by the following principles:
(1) 
The City holdings within the Six Mile Creek Natural Area shall remain as natural as possible, with the addition of only minimal human-made elements, such as hiking trails and/or facilities necessary for public safety, and for operation, maintenance and necessary alterations of the water supply system. Nothing herein is intended to prevent construction of the Town of Ithaca's proposed South Hill Recreationway.
(2) 
City boards and staff involved in any plans for construction of new facilities or rehabilitation of existing facilities in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area shall give thorough consideration to the objective of preserving, to the greatest extent possible, all three of the uses listed above. Except in emergency situations where it is not practical, the Natural Areas Commission shall be contacted and given an opportunity to comment before such new construction or rehabilitation is commenced.
[Amended 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18]
(3) 
The City shall continue to seek to protect from development all land within the Natural Area boundary as defined on the aforementioned Six Mile Creek Natural Area map, through a planned strategy of negotiation of voluntary easements, acquisition of development rights, purchase, agreements with the Town of Ithaca, independent actions by the Town of Ithaca or otherwise. Actions to implement this strategy shall be subject to Common Council approval and actively pursued by the City Attorney and a staff member designated by the Director of Planning and Development.
(4) 
The City shall continue to seek to work cooperatively with the Town of Ithaca and the Soil and Water Conservation District to ensure protection of the area.
(5) 
The Natural Areas Commission shall be the advisory body to the Board of Public Works (and to the Common Council, when appropriate) about the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. The purposes, duties and membership of the Commission are set forth in further detail in Chapter 113, Natural Areas Commission, of this Code.
[Amended 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18]
(6) 
Ecologically informed guidelines for Department of Public Works maintenance activities within the Six Mile Creek Natural Area shall be promulgated by the Department of Public Works, in consultation with the Six Mile Creek Advisory Committee, Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission, and subject to the approval of the Board of Public Works.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-15]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former §§ 320-1 through 320-8 as §§ 320-2 through 320-9, respectively.
[Adopted 8-14-1996 by Board of Public Works]
The City hereby permits public access to the Six Mile Gorge for walking and nature study between Aurora Street and the sixty-foot dam only on marked paths specified for such purposes. Access to the reservoir area above the sixty-foot dam and the surrounding shore area shall be prohibited, except by special permit from the Department of Public works for scientific studies. No access shall be permitted from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. in the natural areas and the restriction of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. in the parking area at Giles Street.
A. 
There shall be only seven entrances to the Six Mile Creek Natural Area, all to be marked:
[Amended 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18]
(1) 
Hudson Street at Renzetti Place.
(2) 
Giles Street at Columbia at the present stairway.
(3) 
Giles Street at the Indian campground (west of bridge).
(4) 
Giles Street to the Van Natta's Dam Pond (east of bridge.)
(5) 
Giles Street just below East State Street.
(6) 
South Hill Recreation Way.
(7) 
Commonland off New York State Route 79.
B. 
Public parking for gorge use shall be maintained only at Van Natta's Dam Pond just south of the Giles Street bridge.
[Amended 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 96-5; 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18]
A. 
The City hereby prohibits the following activities throughout the Six Mile Creek Natural Area, unless expressly permitted or carried out pursuant to a duly issued permit:
(1) 
Swimming.
(2) 
Boating.
(3) 
Ice skating.
(4) 
Camping.
(5) 
Littering.
(6) 
Amplified sound.
(7) 
Wood cutting.
(8) 
Trapping.
(9) 
Rock and ice climbing and rappelling.
(10) 
Hunting and shooting.
(11) 
Motorized vehicle (and bicycle) riding.
(12) 
Bicycle riding.
(13) 
Plant digging.
(14) 
Flower picking.
(15) 
Consumption of alcoholic beverages.
(16) 
Fires of any kind.
B. 
The Board of Public Works is authorized to grant specific, revocable exceptions to any of the above prohibitions, upon consultation with the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission and a finding of special circumstances. When granting such an exception, the Board shall retain the right of the City to impose reasonable conditions intended to protect public safety, the water supply system or the natural environment or to control the City's potential liability.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-15]
[Amended 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18; 7-26-2017 by L.L. No. 2017-05]
The position of Natural Area Ranger is hereby established to advise users of regulations governing the natural areas and to demonstrate the City's intention to protect said areas and enforce the regulations. The Ranger(s) shall be provided with adequate equipment to communicate readily with law enforcement agencies. The Ranger(s) shall work under the direction of the Chief of Police and shall consult regularly with the Public Safety and Information Commission.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 320-6, Circle Greenway Commission, and former § 320-7, Six Mile Creek Advisory Committee, as amended, were deleted 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 320-6, Circle Greenway Commission, and former § 320-7, Six Mile Creek Advisory Committee, as amended, were deleted 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-18.
The City hereby directs the Department of Public Works to provide adequate and attractive signage to alert the public to the rules and regulations covering trails and hazards in the gorge.
[Added 8-5-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992]
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as prescribed in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, of this Code.