City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 11-25-1941; amended in its entirety 5-22-1984 by Ord. No. 84-197. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Department of Recreation and Youth Services — See Charter, Art. XI A.
Littering — See Ch. 69.
Noise — See Ch. 75.
Maintenance of parks by county — See Ch. 127.
A. 
This chapter shall be known as the "Parks Code."
B. 
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services of the City of Rochester, or his or her designee.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-299; 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22; 6-20-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-196]
ORGANIZED GAME OR ACTIVITY
Any game, athletic event, exhibition or other activity meeting any of the following criteria:
(1) 
For which printed schedules or notices or promotional materials have been prepared, distributed or broadcast;
(2) 
Which involves spectators in excess of 25;
(3) 
For which a fee is charged;
(4) 
For which paid officials are present; or
(5) 
Which is conducted as part of a league.
PARK ROAD
A roadway designated for vehicular travel and bordered on both sides by parklands.
PARKS
All lands and waters, including parks, playgrounds, recreation facilities, malls and public squares, under the control and supervision of the Commissioner, as well as reservoirs and lands forming a part of the water distribution system of the City which are located within or adjacent to parks. However, this code shall not apply to the use of the water distribution system itself nor supersede any health codes relating to the water distribution system and adjacent lands. This code is intended to regulate the conduct of persons using water distribution system lands found within or adjacent to parks, and other lands and waters under the control and supervision of the Commissioner, as well as dedicated parks. This section shall not be construed so as to dedicate as parks land not otherwise expressly dedicated by City Council. Additional regulations relating to City reservoirs may be found in Chapter 23 of the Municipal Code.
[Amended 6-4-1985 by Ord. No. 85-234; 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
PICNIC AREA
Any area where picnic tables are provided.
SMOKING
The burning of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco.
[Added 12-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-432[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 1-1-2014.
A. 
The parks of the City of Rochester are for the benefit and pleasure of the public, and every person shall use said parks subject to the ordinances of the Council. The specific purpose of this code is to ensure the safe and enjoyable use of the parks by the public.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
B. 
The bridle paths shall be used only by persons on horseback or bicycles; and the walks shall be used exclusively by pedestrians, except that baby carriages and invalid chairs and children's carts and tricycles may be propelled thereon. This section shall not apply to vehicles used by order of the Commissioner or by police officers in the performance of their duties.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
C. 
Unless otherwise authorized by the Commissioner and notice is given by the posting of signs at the parks, the parks shall be closed from 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. during the summer season, and from 10:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. during the winter season; and no persons except authorized employees or persons with written permission from the Commissioner shall enter or remain in said parks while closed. The summer season shall be from April 1 until November 15, and the winter season shall be from November 16 until March 31.
[Amended 6-14-1988 by Ord. No. 88-220]
A. 
No person shall damage, destroy, deface, disturb, remove or befoul any building, structure, sign, equipment, swimming pool, skating rink or other property in a park.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
B. 
No person shall injure, damage, destroy, deface, disturb, remove or befoul any tree, flower, shrub, rock, mineral or other natural feature in a park.
A. 
No person shall bring into, drop, deposit, dump or leave behind any rubbish, garbage, lawn refuse, ashes, papers, cardboard, metal cans or other metallic substances, bottles, glassware or any other refuse, waste material or other unwanted material of any kind in a park, except that any such materials resulting from picnics or other permitted activities shall be deposited in receptacles, pits or other containers provided for that purpose.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
B. 
No person shall abandon a motor vehicle or other equipment or property of any kind in a park.
C. 
No person shall, either within or outside of a park, discharge into, throw, cast, lay, drop or leave in a river, brook, stream, reservoir, storm sewer or drain flowing into or through any park any substance, matter or thing, either liquid or solid, which may or shall result in the pollution of said river, brook, stream or reservoir within a park or interfere with the conservation of the natural resources of said park, or endanger the health, safety or well-being of visitors in such park.
D. 
The provisions of Chapter 69 of the Municipal Code, the Anti-Litter Ordinance, shall apply in parks.
E. 
The provisions of Chapter 75 of the Municipal Code, Noise, shall apply in parks.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310; 3-16-1993 by Ord. No. 93-62]
No person shall possess a rocket, bow or arrow in a park, except in areas designated by the Commissioner for such use, and then only in strict compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules or regulations.
[Added 12-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-432[2]]
Smoking shall not be permitted, and no person shall smoke in a park.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 79-6, Alcoholic beverages, was repealed 8-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91-357.
[2]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 1-1-2014.
[Added 4-2-1985 by Ord. No. 85-123]
A. 
The consumption in the parks of beverages in glass bottles or glass containers contributes directly and significantly to serious health and safety problems, since glass beverage bottles or containers are the most common type of glass which is disposed of improperly and becomes broken in the parks. Broken glass beverage bottles or containers are often not properly cleaned up, and parks personnel cannot always be available when such glass becomes broken. Such broken glass in grassy and other areas of the parks is also often difficult to discover and completely clean up, thereby posing a danger not only to minors who may not be aware of the dangers of broken glass, but also to unsuspecting adults. The Council finds that most beverages are either readily accessible in and/or easily transferable into nonglass containers which are much safer than glass containers and, even if disposed of improperly, do not generally cause the serious health and safety problems that broken glass does.
B. 
No person shall possess, transport or bring into a park any beverage, whether alcoholic or nonalcoholic, in a glass bottle or glass container.
A. 
No person shall operate, sail, row or paddle a boat, raft or canoe in or adjacent to park property, except in areas designated by the Commissioner for such use, and then only in strict conformance with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules or regulations.
B. 
No person shall operate, sail, row or paddle a boat, raft or canoe in or upon park waters in such a manner so as to annoy or endanger the occupants of that or of other boats, rafts or canoes.
C. 
No person shall stand up in or rock a rowboat or canoe or make a raft of canoes in or upon park waters.
D. 
No person, except authorized employees or persons with written permission from the Commissioner, shall place or propel upon the waters in a park a boat, raft, canoe or other watercraft or land from such at a place not designated by the Commissioner for that purpose.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
E. 
No person shall open a muffler cutout on a motorboat or operate a motorboat in park waters with a muffler cutout open.
[Added 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
A. 
No person, except authorized employees and law enforcement personnel in the line of duty, shall dock a boat, raft, canoe or other watercraft within a park while said park is closed.
B. 
No commercial or charter boat or other watercraft may dock within a park without the written permission of the Commissioner.
[Amended 3-22-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-83]
No person shall bring into, permit, have or keep in a park any household pet or other animal which may be injurious or destructive to birds, fish, animals or other wildlife, plant life or other natural features within a park or which may be dangerous, injurious or offensive to other users of a park, except that dogs shall be permitted within a park if controlled by a leash, or within a fenced and authorized area within a park, and as otherwise regulated by Chapter 31 of the Municipal Code, Animals — Dog Control. Any person who brings into, permits, has or keeps an animal in a park shall be responsible for any damage caused to the park by such animal. For purposes of this section, "a fenced and authorized area" shall be a specified area designated and approved for that purpose by City Council and in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner.
A. 
No person shall ice fish on any pond or waters in a park except with permission of the Commissioner.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
B. 
No person shall kill, injure or unnecessarily disturb fish, waterfowl, birds or animals in a park.
C. 
No person shall hunt, pursue with dogs, trap or in any other way molest a bird or animal, or rob or molest a bird's nest or take the eggs of a bird in a park.
D. 
Fishing in portions of the Genesee River located within the City is regulated by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.
[Added 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
A. 
No person shall bathe, wade or swim within any park except at such pools or beaches therein as may be designated for that purpose by the Commissioner.
B. 
No person shall change into bathing suits or clothing on park property except in facilities set aside for that purpose.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, regarding bottles and glass containers in beach or pool areas, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310, which ordinance also relettered former Subsections D through H as C through G, respectively.
C. 
No person shall use any life raft, inner tube or other object intended to support persons in any park waters or swimming pools, except under the supervision of a lifeguard in an organized swimming class.
D. 
No person shall swim in any swimming pool or area unless such pool or area is officially open and supervised by qualified staff authorized by the Commissioner.
E. 
No person, except authorized employees, shall use any boat, raft, canoe, surfboard, water ski or similar aquatic equipment within a designated swimming area.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
F. 
No person shall carry into or allow an infant in diapers to wade or bathe in park waters or swimming pools.
G. 
No person shall bring into, permit, have or keep in any swimming area or beach a dog, cat, horse or other household pet or animal.
No person shall camp in any park without a permit in writing from the Commissioner.
A. 
No person shall engage in potentially dangerous games involving thrown or propelled objects, such as footballs, baseballs or similar objects, in picnic areas, paths, roadways or parking lots.
B. 
All games of any description must be conducted in a safe and orderly manner and in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Commissioner.
C. 
No person shall strike a golf ball in a park.
D. 
No person shall pitch a horseshoe in a park, except in areas designated for such purpose.
E. 
No person shall conduct an organized game or activity for which a permit or fee is required without first obtaining such permit and paying such fee.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
No person shall engage in downhill skiing in any park except in areas designated for that purpose and in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner.
No person shall engage in tobogganing, sliding or sledding in any park, except in areas designated for that purpose and in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner.
A. 
No person shall ride a horse in a park except on designated roadways or bridle paths and on the condition that horses are ridden with care and under such control that they can be easily or quickly turned or stopped.
B. 
No person shall permit any horse to stray unattended or to graze within a park.
C. 
No person shall ride a horse onto or permit a horse to stay on a golf course, swimming area or beach or picnic area.
D. 
No person shall ride a horse in a park after dark or before daybreak.
E. 
No person shall smoke while mounted on a horse within a park.
F. 
Police officers assigned to the mounted patrol shall be exempt from this section.
No person shall ride a bicycle upon the lawns, walks, foot trails or bridle trails of a park, unless designated by the Commissioner for bicycle use, except police officers while performing their official duties.
A. 
No person, except authorized employees, shall operate a snowmobile within a park. A "snowmobile" shall be defined as any self-propelled vehicle designated for travel on snow or ice, steered by skis or runners and supported in whole or in part by one or more skis, belts or cleats.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
B. 
No person, except authorized employees and persons with written permission from the Commissioner, shall operate motor-powered off-road or limited-use vehicle in a park, except that off-road or limited-use vehicles properly registered in accordance with the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law may be operated on park roads and parked in park parking lots in accordance with laws and regulations governing motor vehicles. Off-road or limited-use vehicles shall include, but are not limited to, four-wheel-drive vehicles; vehicles equipped for operation in or on sand, mud, snow, gravel or wetlands; dune buggies; motorcycles or minibikes equipped for off-road uses; dirt bikes; trail bikes; or any similar type of vehicle or conveyance.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
C. 
This section shall not apply to police officers while performing their official duties.
[1]
Editor's Note: For additional regulations pertaining to use of snowmobiles and off-road and limited-use vehicles on City property, see Ch. 111, Vehicle and Traffic, § 111-82.
A. 
No person shall operate, park, stop or stand a motor vehicle in a park, except that motor vehicles properly registered in accordance with the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law may be operated on park roads designated for use by motor vehicles and may be parked in parking areas designated for that purpose. The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Chapter 111 of the Municipal Code, Vehicle and Traffic, and all other laws, ordinances, rules and regulations governing traffic on City streets and parking in the City shall apply to park roads and parking places, except that the Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services is hereby authorized to establish speed limits at not less than 15 miles per hour for any portion of a highway within a City park.
[Amended 8-8-1989 by Ord. No. 89-277; 6-20-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-196]
B. 
No person, except authorized employees and persons with written permission from the Commissioner, shall park a motor vehicle within a park parking lot while said park is closed.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
C. 
No person shall cause any bus, with or without passengers, nor any cart, wagon, truck, trailer, van or other vehicle carrying goods, merchandise, soil, refuse or other articles, or solely in use for the carriage of goods, merchandise, soil, refuse or other articles, to enter a park or be driven on a park road. This section shall not apply to vehicles engaged in the construction, maintenance or operation of the park or park roads, to vehicles making deliveries to the parks or park roads or to buses with a permit from the Commissioner.
A. 
No person shall commit any of the following acts within a park, except authorized employees or persons with written permission from the Commissioner:
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
(1) 
Solicit or engage in any business or commercial transaction involving the sale of goods or services, including the vending of food or beverages.
(2) 
Post or display any sign, banner or advertisement.
(3) 
Use any form of public address system.
(4) 
Deliver any public speech or hold any public meeting, march or parade. Permits for such activities shall not be unreasonably withheld, and the denial of such a permit shall be based solely upon reasonable time, place and manner concerns.
(5) 
Solicit passengers for any boat or vehicle for hire.
(6) 
Mark or groom any athletic field for play.
(7) 
Build any fire, except in suitable grills or fireplaces.
(8) 
Have or discharge any fireworks.
(9) 
Hold a picnic or gathering of more than 50 people.
(10) 
Launch a balloon or ascend or land in any aircraft, glider, balloon or parachute.
(11) 
Possess a shovel, ax, saw or spade.
(12) 
Construct, repair or relocate roads, sidewalks, trails or utility fixtures, such as sewers, hydrants, posts, lines and conduits, or open trenches or make excavations or engage in construction.
(13) 
Conduct an organized game or activity.
(14) 
Anchor or tether any watercraft within the boundaries of any park, except at sites specifically designated as docking facilities.
(15) 
Possess or consume any alcoholic beverage.
[Added 9-11-1991 by Ord. No. 91-402]
The Commissioner shall establish rules and regulations governing the use of tennis courts so as to provide for the orderly use of such courts by all members of the public.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
The Commissioner shall fix fees for the use of athletic fields, tennis courts, bath houses, beach facilities, swimming pools, skating rinks and other special park facilities, equipment and services.
No parent, guardian or custodian shall permit or allow a minor to commit any act which would constitute a violation of this chapter.
A. 
The Commissioner is authorized to grant and issue permits for activities authorized in this chapter or under rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner. As a condition of granting a permit, the Commissioner may require proof of insurance or a security deposit, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner. All permits issued by the Commissioner shall be in writing and shall be signed or authenticated by the Commissioner. All such permits shall be subject to the terms and conditions contained therein, all applicable provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter and all other applicable laws and ordinances.
B. 
Any violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued hereunder, or of this chapter or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, or any other applicable law or ordinance, shall constitute grounds for the immediate revocation of such permit by the Commissioner, which revocation shall be final and without appeal. No permit for the same purpose shall be issued to any person whose permit has been revoked hereunder for a period of one year following the date of such revocation.
C. 
This section is not intended to prohibit the casual ad hoc use of park facilities by citizens. However, individuals or groups possessing a valid permit for the use of a park facility shall have preference for such use.
The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate or implement the provisions of this chapter and to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all users of the parks, to regulate activities permitted in the parks and to provide for the orderly issuance of permits and the protection of park property.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
A. 
No person shall fail or refuse to comply with any reasonable order relating to the regulation of parks activities or the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, lawfully given by the Commissioner, authorized employees or any law enforcement officer or other official of any policing agency having jurisdiction.
B. 
No person shall willfully resist, obstruct or abuse the Commissioner, authorized employees or any law enforcement officer, or other official of any policing agency having jurisdiction, in the execution of their offices and duties.
C. 
The Commissioner, authorized employees or any law enforcement officer or other official of any policing agency having jurisdiction shall have the right at all times to enter the premises of any building, structure or enclosure in any park, including such grounds, buildings, structures or enclosures occupied or used pursuant to a permit granted by the Commissioner, to ensure compliance with all permits laws, ordinances, rules and regulations or for the purpose of arresting violators thereof.
D. 
Permits shall be maintained at the location of the permitted activity and shall be produced upon request by the Commissioner, authorized employees or any law enforcement officer or other official of any policing agency having jurisdiction.
A. 
The Municipal Code Violations Bureau shall hear and determine charges involving violations of this chapter. Any person who violates this chapter shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 13A-11 of the Municipal Code.
[Amended 5-26-1987 by Ord. No. 87-156; 10-2-1990 by Ord. No. 90-400]
B. 
The court may require a violator to make reparation to the City in an amount equal to the loss or damage that person caused to a park.
[Amended 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 91-310]
Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase in this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.