[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Elsmere 6-26-1980 by Ord. No. 146. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The use of all parkland owned or operated by the Town of Elsmere shall be in accordance with and bound by the following:
In any park owned, leased, maintained or operated by the Town of Elsmere, no person shall cut, break, move, take or otherwise injure, destroy or deface any trees, shrubs, plants, turf, rock or any building, fence, bridge, sign or other structure, nor foul any spring or stream, nor shall any person dump any earth, rubbish or other substance or material in or upon any park.
The sale, consumption or possession of intoxicating liquors or beverages or gambling of any kind is prohibited in any park.
No person shall make or kindle any open fire except in fireplaces and grills provided for this purpose or in private portable commercially manufactured grills or grills approved as safe by the Town of Elsmere. Grills provided for public use shall be on a first-come, first-served basis.
No person shall, in any park, set a trap or snare, or shoot, injure, annoy, disturb or poison any wild animal or bird, or injure or destroy any nest.
All persons are forbidden to use threatening, abusive, insulting or indecent language or commit any obscene or indecent act or to fight in any park.
No person shall ride in or drive any motor vehicle which is self-propelled upon any parkland. It is prohibited for any person to commit any act, by use or operation, of any motor vehicle on any parkland which, if committed upon a public highway or street in the State of Delaware, would be prohibited and unlawful. Speed limits within all parks shall be 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. No one shall test or repair any vehicle or mechanical device in any park. There shall be no parking at any time except in areas designated for such purposes.
No person shall, without written permission from the Town of Elsmere, erect, paint, paste or otherwise affix or distribute any signs, advertisements or circulars on park property. The sale of anything or the solicitation of funds or donations within any park is forbidden, except upon written permission of the Town of Elsmere.
Horses, cattle, livestock and domestic animals of any kind are prohibited in any park.
[Amended 9-18-2003 by Ord. No. 420]
Practicing, playing or using park areas for golf or archery is prohibited.
No person shall carry a knife upon their person having a blade of three inches or longer in length or have possession of or discharge a BB gun, air rifle, pistol, firearm, bow and arrow or any other type of lethal weapon in any park.
No person or group may utilize any park area or facility for the purpose of teaching an individual or group any recreational skill for personal profit or financial gain without written permission from the Town of Elsmere.
No persons are permitted in any park after sunset and before sunrise.
The Mayor, the Chief of Police or the Town Manager may temporarily close or curtail activities within any park or any portions thereof, when it has been deemed necessary to be in the best interest of public safety, conduct, health or order.
[Amended 9-11-2014 by Ord. No. 584]
No entertainment, demonstration, exhibition or tournament shall be given or held in any park except under the supervision of the Town of Elsmere or with the written permission of the Town of Elsmere.
Bark Park. Dogs shall be permitted in the Town of Elsmere's Bark Park. In addition to the rules and regulations established by this chapter, the Town Manager shall establish rules and regulations specific to the Bark Park and shall post those rules and regulations at the Bark Park. Once posted those additional rules and regulations shall have the same authority and shall be enforceable as if they had been contained in this chapter and shall be enforced as such.
[Added 9-11-2014 by Ord. No. 584]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection O, regarding rules and regulations pertaining to the tennis courts, as amended.
The rules and regulations established by this chapter shall not apply to the Town when the parks are being used for a purpose deemed appropriate by the Town. During the period of time parklands are being used by the Town for its purposes, the Town Manager is authorized to establish such additional rules and regulations as he deems appropriate.
[Added 9-9-2010 by Ord. No. 523]
[Amended 9-9-2010 by Ord. No. 523]
The Public Safety Department is authorized to enforce these rules and regulations and to prosecute violators thereof.
The use of park facilities may be subject to payment of fees as set by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 9-18-2003 by Ord. No. 420]
Any person violating any of these rules and regulations shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $250 for the first offense, and not less than $50 nor more than $500 for each subsequent offense. Each violation shall be a separate offense.
[Added 9-11-2014 by Ord. No. 584]
In addition to the penalties set forth in § 155-4 of this chapter or of any law of the State of Delaware, any person may be prohibited from entering any park or recreation area within the Town of Elsmere in accordance with the following:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the exclusion of any person lawfully exercising free speech rights or other rights protected by the state or federal constitutions. However, a person engaged in such protected activity who commits acts that are not protected, but that violate applicable good conduct, shall be subject to prohibition as provided by this section.
For purposes of this section, "applicable good conduct" includes any violation of the provisions of this chapter as well as any violation of any applicable Town ordinance, any applicable criminal or traffic law of the State of Delaware or any applicable law controlling alcoholic beverages. For purposes of this section, "applicable" means relating to the person's conduct while in a parkland or recreational area.
A prohibition issued under the provisions of this section shall be for 30 days. If the person to be prohibited from entering a parkland or recreational area has been excluded from any parkland or recreational area at any time within two years prior to the date of the present prohibition, the prohibition shall be for 90 days. If the person to be excluded has been excluded from one or more parks on two or more occasions within two years before the date of the present exclusion, the exclusion shall be for 180 days.
Before any person is prohibited from entering a parkland or recreational area under this section, they shall be entitled to a hearing before the Town Manager.
Procedure for a person to be prohibited from entering a parkland or recreational area.
Any person or person(s) alleging that another person has committed an act which is in violation of applicable good conduct, which warrants the person being prohibited from entering a parkland or recreational area, must file a written complaint with the Town Manager.
Once a complaint has been filed, the Town Manager shall provide written notice to the person alleged to have committed the violation of applicable good conduct. The notice shall specify the following:
A brief description of the alleged violation of applicable good conduct.
Notice that a hearing will be held to determine if the allegations are valid.
Notice that the accused has a right to appear at the hearing and present any evidence or witnesses they may have as well as an opportunity to question anyone accusing them as well as any witnesses of the alleged violation of good conduct.
The date, time and location of the hearing and the procedures that will be followed during the hearing.
Notice that failing to appear at the hearing may result in the accused being prohibited from entering a parkland(s) or recreational area(s).
Notice that any prohibition from entering a parkland or recreational area may be appealed to the Mayor and Council if filed within 10 days of the Town Manager's decision or to a court of competent jurisdiction within the time line set by that court.
If, at the conclusion of any hearing, the Town Manager finds that it is more likely than not the person accused in fact committed the violation, the Town Manager may:
Attempt to determine if the parties can reach a consensus as to how the issue can be resolved.
Direct that the parties seek the services of a mediator provided by many nonprofit organizations in an attempt to resolve the issue(s). If this method is agreed to and the accused does not attend the mediation, fails to reach an agreement at the mediation or fails to follow any agreement made at the mediation, the Town Manager shall issue a notice to the accused prohibiting him or her from entering a parkland(s) or recreational area(s) in accordance with this section.
Prohibit the accused from entering a parkland(s) or recreational area(s) in accordance with this section.
Any decision by the Town Manager to prohibit someone from entering a parkland or recreational area may be appealed to the Mayor and Council, provided that the appeal is filed in writing and within 10 days of the Town Manager's decision. In any appeal hearing before the Mayor and Council the following shall apply:
Any decision of the Town Manager or the Mayor and Council to prohibit a person from being permitted to enter a parkland or recreational area may be appealed to a court with proper jurisdiction, provided it is filed in accordance with the rules of that court.
The following are examples of actions or conduct which would warrant a person being prohibited from entering a parkland or recreational area. It is not all-inclusive and is only provided as an example.
Placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury by some movement of a person's body or any instrument.
Intentionally causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person utilizing a park or recreational area.
Making an unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present.
Creating a physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose.
Insulting, taunting or challenging another person in a manner which the person knows is likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response or cause a reasonable person to suffer fear, alarm, or distress.
The conviction or entering of a plea of guilty to any violation of Title 4,11,16, or 21 of the Delaware Code if committed in a parkland or recreational area, or if the violation occurred outside of a parkland or recreational area, but is directly related to an incident which occurred at a parkland or recreational area.
At any time within the period of prohibition, a person receiving such notice of exclusion may apply in writing to the Town Manager for a waiver of some or all of the effects of the prohibition for good reason.
If the Town Manager grants a waiver under this Subsection, the Town Manager shall promptly notify the Elsmere Police Department and the Mayor and Council.
The Town Manager shall consider the seriousness of the violation for which the person has been excluded, the particular need of the person to be in the parkland or recreational area during some or all of the period of exclusion, such as for work or to attend or participate in a particular event (without regard to the content of any speech associated with that event), and any other criterion the Town Manager determines to be relevant to the determination of whether or not to grant a waiver.
Notwithstanding the granting of a waiver under this Subsection, the prohibition will be included for purposes of calculating the appropriate length of prohibition.
The Town Manager's decision to grant or deny, in whole or in part, a waiver under this Subsection is at the sole discretion of the Town Manager, and is not subject to appeal or review.
If an appeal of the prohibition is timely filed, the effectiveness of the prohibition shall be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal. If the prohibition is affirmed, the remaining period of exclusion shall be effective immediately upon the issuance of the decision.
If a person is issued a subsequent prohibition while a previous prohibition is stayed pending appeal (or pending judicial review, should a court stay the exclusion), the stayed prohibition shall be counted in determining the appropriate length of the subsequent exclusion. If the previous prohibition is set aside, the term of the subsequent prohibition shall be reduced, as if the previous prohibition had not been issued. If multiple prohibitions issued to a single person for a single park are simultaneously stayed pending appeal, the effective periods of those which are affirmed shall run consecutively.
No person shall enter or remain in any parkland or recreational area at any time during which there is in effect a notice of prohibition issued under this section prohibiting that person from that parkland or recreational area.
Any person entering or remaining in any parkland or recreational area at any time during which there is in effect a notice of prohibition issued under this section prohibiting that person from that parkland or recreational area shall be guilty of Trespass in the third degree as defined by Section 821 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code.