Rockland County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rockland County Board of Supervisors 10-3-1967 by L.L. No. 19-1967. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Park Commission — See Ch. 128.
Note: In accordance with a motion adopted by the Rockland County Park Commission on March 19, 2018, all County-owned parks are designated as “smoke-free,” including all tobacco products, e-cigarettes (vaping) and smokeless tobacco (chewing).
It is the intent of this chapter to establish rules and regulations for the use of County parks within the County of Rockland in order to provide for the protection, order, conduct, safety, health and well-being of persons and property.
For the purpose of this chapter, unless otherwise indicated by the context, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
[Added 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 2-1987]
A. 
Any motorcycle or any motor vehicle not equipped in conformity for registration under § 401, 410, 411-b or 2261 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, provided that such vehicle does not exceed 60 inches in width or 800 pounds' dry weight.
B. 
Any motor vehicle registered under Article 48-B of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and manufactured and sold for operation primarily on off-highway trails or in off-highway competitions and only incidentally operated on designated public highways.
BATHING AREA
Any beach or water area designated as a "bathing area."
BRIDLE PATH
Any path maintained for persons riding on horseback.
COMMISSION
The Rockland County Park Commission established by the Board of Supervisors of Rockland County.[1]
FOOTPATH or TRAIL
Any path or trail maintained for pedestrians.
MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITY
Any function such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
[Added 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 7-1999]
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle propelled by motor power, including but not limited to all-terrain vehicles.
[Amended 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 2-1987]
OWNER
Any person, firm, association, copartnership or corporation owning, operating or having the exclusive use of a vehicle, animal or other property under a lease or otherwise.
PARK
All lands, parkways, park roads, bridges, spurs, open spaces and boulevards, and also entrances and approaches thereto, buildings, structures, recreational areas and facilities, docks and piers, waters and lands under water, and all other rights and appurtenances under the jurisdiction and control of the Rockland County Park Commission in the County of Rockland.
PERMIT
Any written license issued by or under the authority of the Commission, permitting the performance of a specified act or acts.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association, firm or copartnership.
PICNIC AREA
Any section or area of the park set aside and designated for picnicking purposes.
PLAY AREA
Any section or area of the park set aside and designated for sports and games.
[1]
Editor's Note: Now the County Legislature.
This chapter shall apply to all parks under the jurisdiction, management and supervision of the Commission but shall not apply to any public highways as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
A permit to do any act shall authorize the same only insofar as it may be performed in strict accordance with the terms and conditions thereof. Any violation by its holder or its agents or employees of any term or condition thereof shall constitute grounds for revocation by the Commission, or by its authorized representative, whose action therein shall be final. In case of revocation of any permit, all moneys paid for or on account thereof shall, at the option of the Commission, be forfeited to and be retained by it, and the holder of such permit, together with his agents and employees who violated such terms and conditions, shall be jointly and severally liable to the Commission for all damages and loss suffered by it in excess of money so forfeited and retained; but neither such forfeiture and retention by the Commission of the whole or any part of such moneys nor the recovery or collection thereby of such damages, or both, shall in any manner relieve such person or persons from liability to punishment for any violation of any provision of this chapter.
No person shall:
A. 
Injure, deface, disturb or befoul any part of the park or any building, equipment or other property found therein.
B. 
Injure, deface, displace, remove or destroy any sign, notice, inscription, post or monument erected or marked for any purpose or any mileboard, milestone, danger sign or signal, guide sign or post or any signaling device, sanctioned, installed or placed by said Commission or by the State of New York or any of its political subdivisions or agencies within the parks for the purpose of directing, restricting or regulating traffic, establishing zones or giving information or directions to the public.
C. 
Interfere with any lamp, lamppost, gas or electric light apparatus or extinguish the light therein, except upon proper authority.
D. 
Without a permit, attach, string, adjust or place any wire or other object in, on or over any part of any park.
E. 
Remove, injure or destroy any tree, flower, shrub, rock or other mineral found therein or set fire or assist another to set fire to any timber, trees, shrubs, grass, leaves, plant growth or any combustible material or suffer any fire upon other land to extend onto any part of the park.
No person shall:
A. 
Throw, cast, lay, drop, discharge, deposit or leave, in any part of the park, any garbage, sewage, refuse, paper, rubbish of any sort, waste or obnoxious material otherwise than in receptacles or pits provided for such purposes.
B. 
Within any park, throw, cast, lay, drop or discharge into or leave in the waters in any park or in any storm sewer or drain flowing into said waters any substance, matter or thing, liquid or solid, which may or shall result in the pollution of said waters.
C. 
Discharge, directly or indirectly, into any opening or into any gutter leading into any sewer, receiving basin or drain in or leading into any park any gas or vapor or any substance which may form a deposit tending to choke the same, or any volatile liquid which will emit a flammable vapor at a temperature below 160° F. or any steam or hot water above 100° F.
A. 
Traffic control. The Rockland County Park Commission shall have charge and control over all traffic in the park, on the park drives, parkways and in parking areas within the scope of this chapter, and all persons shall comply with directions on traffic signs on or along the route of the parkways or the drives or parking fields in the parks. All persons shall comply with any lawful direction of park personnel or any other person duly empowered to enforce the laws of the State of New York.
[Amended 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 2-1987]
B. 
Park roads. The use of park roads is restricted except by permission of the Commission to automobiles classed as pleasure vehicles, excluding, however, such vehicles when adapted to or used for the carrying of commercial goods or materials. No motor vehicles, horse-drawn vehicle or bicycle will be permitted along the footpaths or trails within the park areas, except by permission of the Commission.
C. 
Parkways. The use of parkways under the jurisdiction of the Commission is restricted except by permission of the Commission to automobiles classed as pleasure vehicles, excluding, however, such vehicles when adapted to or used for the carrying of commercial goods or materials. In order to provide for the maximum safe use of such parkways and to preserve life and limb, the following are forbidden to use such parkways: pedestrians; riders and drivers of horses; bicycles; motorized bicycles, including safticycles and similar types of vehicles; scooters; motorettes and other similar small power-propelled vehicles of two or three wheels, any of which has an overall diameter of less than 15 inches, excluding the tire.
D. 
Entering and driving off pavement, towing. No vehicle shall enter upon or drive off the improved or paved portion of any park road or parkway except at designated parking areas. Disabled vehicles shall be driven or moved off the paved portion of the park road or parkway so as to prevent obstruction of traffic, but a disabled vehicle shall be permitted to remain in the park or on a parkway right-of-way only until temporary repairs are made or until power can be obtained to remove it. No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to be towed or pushed by another vehicle on a parkway or park road, except that a disabled vehicle may be towed to the nearest exit by a tow truck operated under permission and only by such tow truck. No vehicle shall be parked or left standing except in areas and during such hours and under such conditions as may be designated by the Commission for that purpose. All occupied vehicles parked within the confines of the park during hours of darkness shall display parking lights at all times.
E. 
Persons or objects on outside of cars. No person shall operate or drive in the park a vehicle containing any person or object projecting or hanging outside or on the top thereof, except that outdoor sports and recreation equipment such as skis, ski poles, fishing rods, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, tent poles, toboggans and sleds may be carried on the rear of such vehicle or on a rack designed for the purpose and attached to the top thereof, provided that, in all cases, fastenings shall be secure and substantial, and provided that such equipment so carried shall in no case project more than 12 inches above the top or to the rear of the customary permanent equipment of such vehicle.
F. 
Obstructing traffic. No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to:
(1) 
Unnecessarily stop or obstruct traffic on any park road, drive or parkway, except in cases or emergency when traffic conditions make such stopping necessary.
(2) 
Be driven at such slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when such reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.
(3) 
Cross any solid longitudinal traffic line on any park road, drive or parkway.
(4) 
Weave in and out of traffic or change its course so as to unreasonably interfere with the right-of-way of any driver on the right or left, or to cut from one lane to another so as to unreasonably interfere with the right-of-way of any driver affected by such change in lanes.
(5) 
Enter or swerve into any lane of any park road, drive or parkway in such manner or at such speed as to unreasonably interfere with the right-of-way of any driver on any such park road, drive or parkway.
(6) 
Be driven or backed on a lane of a parkway, drive or park road in a direction opposite to that of the movement of traffic in such lane.
(7) 
Stop on the improved or paved roadway of a park road, drive or parkway for the purpose of removing or replacing a tire or performing other work or repairs, and no person shall remove or replace a tire or make repairs to a vehicle unless the vehicle is completely off the improved or paved roadway.
G. 
Vehicles having any name, insignia or sign painted or displayed thereon for business or advertising purposes are prohibited in parks except as provided in this subsection. For purposes of identification, the name and address only of the owner of a vehicle, on the side thereof, in letters not more than two inches in height, shall not be construed as being displayed for business or advertising purposes. Vehicles owned and operated by governmental agencies, of types normally permitted to operate on the parkways, are excepted from this rule.
H. 
Licensed ambulances for sick or injured persons shall be permitted to operate over parkways when on emergency service.
I. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall apply to the wagons, trucks and apparatus of a Fire Department, Police Department or other law enforcement agency or ambulance or to emergency repair wagons, when responding for emergency work in case of fire, accident, public disaster, impending danger or emergency.
J. 
Speed limit. In general a rate of speed in excess of 40 miles an hour on any park road or parkway is prohibited. However, on park roads and parkways where a different speed limit is considered to be appropriate, the maximum speed allowed will be indicated by signs.
K. 
All motor vehicles designated as omnibuses, hearses, trucks, semitrailers or trailers of any type, including self-propelled and non-self-propelled vehicles designated, constructed or adapted for use as dwelling or sleeping quarters, are forbidden to operate over or use a park road or parkway, except as follows:
(1) 
Omnibuses known as "taxis" will be permitted to operate over a parkway to discharge or pick up passengers at a park or bathing establishment, but in no case will cruising or soliciting of passengers en route be permitted.
(2) 
No person shall drive or operate within a park any omnibus or other vehicle adapted for more than seven passengers, excluding the driver, except under permit. Omnibuses known as "outing buses" will be permitted to operate by the shortest possible route from outside a park to discharge or pick up their passengers from a picnic or bathing area only if a permit to enter the park has been issued by the Rockland County Park Commission to the organization sponsoring the outing or picnic. Buses must proceed over the route and to the section designated.
L. 
Hitchhiking. No person shall stop or attempt to stop by any visible or audible sign or signal any vehicle for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of such vehicle, except in cases of emergency.
M. 
ATV operation; responsibility.
[Added 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 2-1987]
(1) 
Negligence in the use or operation of an ATV shall be attributable to the owner. Every owner of an ATV used or operated in a County park shall be liable and responsible for death or injury to persons or damage to property resulting from negligence in the use or operation of such ATV by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of such owner.
(2) 
No owner or other person in possession of any ATV shall authorize or knowingly permit any person under 16 years of age to operate such ATV in violation of any provision of this chapter, the rules and regulations of the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles nor the provisions of any local law or ordinance. No parent or guardian shall authorize or knowingly permit his child, if under 16 years of age, to operate an ATV in violation of any provision of this chapter or rules or regulations promulgated hereunder.
No person shall:
A. 
Maintain any camp or camps in the park for any period except at such places as may from time to time be designated for camping.
B. 
Camp at any place in the park without obtaining a permit from the Commission for such purpose.
No person shall:
A. 
Light any fire or fires in any part of the park except in places designated for such purpose and then only during such hours and with such fuel as may be designated by the Commission.
B. 
Leave a fire until same has been completely extinguished.
C. 
Discard any lighted cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe dottle, match or any other burning material without extinguishing same immediately.
No person shall, without a permit from the Commission:
A. 
Sell or offer for sale, hire, lease or let out any object or merchandise or any other thing or service.
B. 
If a person to whom property of the park has been entrusted by the Commission for personal use, hire, lease or let out the same to any other person.
C. 
For advertising, commercial or publicity purposes, take moving pictures or photographs within the limits of any park or on any parkway or buy or sell or publish the negatives thereof or the prints therefrom or exhibit such negatives or prints in public or use pictures or photographs of any park, parkway or park structure.
D. 
Operate a bus, taxicab or other vehicle for the transportation of passengers or property for hire, except as provided herein or for other commercial purposes within the park, except that no permit shall be required for the operation of such bus, taxicab or other vehicle from or to points outside the park through the park on state, County or other public highways, provided that no stops are made in the park for the reception or discharge of passengers or property.
E. 
In operating a boat or airplane for hire, discharge or receive passengers at any of the docks or lands owned or controlled by the Commission.
No person shall have or carry firearms of any description within the park, except when so authorized by law, or have or carry any airgun, slingshot, blowgun, bow and arrow or any other device whereby a missile may be thrown or any hatchet, axe or other cutting tool, except only the common pocket knife, without a permit from the Commission.
No person shall, without a permit from the Commission, hunt, pursue with dogs, trap or in any other way molest any of the wild birds and beasts found within the confines of the park.
No person shall:
A. 
Gamble in the park.
B. 
Bring into the park, or have in his possession while there, any implement or device commonly used or intended to be used for gambling purposes.
No person shall, without a permit from the Commission, post, paint, affix, distribute, hand out, deliver, place, cast or leave about any bill, billboard, placard, ticket, handbill, circular or advertisement; display any flag, banner, transparency, target, sign, placard or any other matter for advertising purposes; or operate any musical instrument or drum or cause any noise to be made for advertising purposes or for the purpose of attracting attention to any exhibition, performance or show or for any other purpose.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 7-1999]
No person shall cause or permit any animal owned by him or in his care or custody to be in any area of any park, except dogs or horses or other animals used by disabled individuals to assist that individual in performing one or more major life activity. Any animal found unattended may be seized and impounded.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 7-1999]
A. 
No person shall:
(1) 
Cause or permit any dog owned by him or in his care or custody to be in a park not designated for dogs, except a dog used by a disabled individual to assist that individual in performing one or more major life activity.
(2) 
Cause or permit any dog owned by him or in his care or custody to be in a park designated for dogs and not restrained by a leash exceeding six feet except:
(a) 
A dog which is in a designated off-leash dog run; or
(b) 
A dog which is used by a disabled individual to assist that individual in one or more major life activity.
(3) 
Cause or permit any dog owned by him or in his care or custody to be in a park designated for dogs and in a building or camping area or picnic area or bathing area or on an improved walk except a dog which is used by a disabled individual to assist that individual in one or more major life activity.
B. 
Any dog found unattended in any area of any park may be seized and impounded.
C. 
The person owning or caring for or having custody of a dog in any area of any park shall be responsible for all damages and/or injury to life and property due to or resulting from the actions of the dog in the park.
D. 
No person shall use, walk, ride or drive a horse except in a park designated for horses and then only along a designated bridle path which shall include areas designated for access to or egress from such bridle path. Any such horse shall be well-broken and constantly held in such control that it may be easily and quickly stopped. Reckless driving or riding on bridle paths is prohibited.
Bridle paths shall not be used after 1/2 hour after sunset or before 1/2 hour before sunrise. Any horse found to be unbridled and unattended may be seized and impounded. The person owning or caring for or having custody of a horse in any area of any park shall be responsible for all damages and/or injury to life and property due to or resulting from the actions of the horse in the park.
No person shall:
A. 
Climb or descend the cliffs of slopes at points other than those designated for that purpose.
B. 
Climb upon any wall, fence, shelter, building, seat or structure.
C. 
Enter in or upon any building, structure, road, path or any other property within the park which may, from time to time, be closed or designated as a restricted area, without permission from the Commission.
No person shall:
A. 
Use loud, boisterous, indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting language.
B. 
Interfere with, hinder, obstruct or disobey any employee of the County in the legal performance of his duty.
C. 
Be indecently dressed or exposed within the confines of the park.
D. 
Throw stones or missiles, annoy or assault other persons, interfere with, encumber, obstruct or render dangerous any drive, path, walk, dock, beach or other public place or otherwise conduct himself in such a manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger the health, life, limb or property of other persons or commit any act tending to be or amounting to a breach of the peace.
E. 
Conduct himself in such a manner as to be suggestive of immoral acts or to be offensive or injurious to the morals of any other person.
F. 
Enter or leave any park area except at established entrance ways or exits.
G. 
Introduce, carry or fire any firecrackers, torpedoes or fireworks.
H. 
Throw, cast, catch, kick or strike any baseball, golf ball. football, basketball or other object except in places designated therefor.
I. 
Engage in, instigate, aid or encourage a contention or fight, whether or not a ring or prize fight.
J. 
Loiter or remain within a park or any area thereof, in a vehicle or otherwise, after the posted closing hour or time of day for the closing of such park or park area without general or special permission.
Parents, guardians or custodians shall not permit or allow any minor under their supervision or control to do any act prohibited by this chapter. Minors under ten years of age shall at all times be under the supervision and control of a parent, guardian or custodian.
[Amended 6-5-1985 by L.L. No. 5-1985]
No person shall have, possess, carry or transport any narcotic drug, liquor, wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages in or upon any park with the intent to consume same in such park or with the intent to have same consumed by another person in said park, and no person shall use any narcotic drug or drink or otherwise consume liquor, wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages in or upon any park area, other than alcoholic beverages on sale in the park under state license or special approval granted by the County of Rockland or the County Executive.
No person shall:
A. 
Bathe, dive or swim in or off any property of the park, except at points designated for that purpose.
B. 
Use tubes, floats, surfboards, swim fins, aqualungs or skin-diving equipment of any kind or any other inflated or buoyant objects or artificial or mechanical aids or devices for swimming or diving in any waters under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
C. 
Change his clothing or disrobe except in the bathhouses provided for that purpose.
D. 
Propel, land or store any canoe, boat or other vessel in or near any waters within or off the park property, except at points designated for that purpose.
E. 
Moor or tie up any vessel to any dock or other park property or moor or anchor in any area designated as a boat basin, except in accordance with directions and in the manner specified on signs posted by the Commission.
F. 
Leave any boat or canoe overnight on any lake in the park, except campers or camping organizations who have obtained a permit from the Commission.
G. 
Propel, by any type of engine or motor, any boat upon any lake in the park without a permit from the Commission.
H. 
Operate any type of boat in any waters under the jurisdiction of the Commission in a careless or imprudent manner or at such rate of speed as endangers or is likely to endanger a person or property or interferes with, obstructs or delays the free and proper use of such waters by any other person.
No person shall bring into or have any food or beverage in any bathing area, except those parts thereof designated for picnicking or refreshment. No person shall throw, cast, lay or deposit any glass bottle or piece of crockery nor any glass or glassware or any part thereof nor metallic or any other substance that might cause injury on any bathing area in, on or adjoining any park.
A. 
No person shall, without a permit from the Commission:
(1) 
Fish on any lakes or streams within park boundaries.
(2) 
Fish on any of said lakes or streams at any time other than the hours and times when such parks are opened to the public generally.
(3) 
Fish or crab off any dock or property within parklands except at points designated for that purpose.
B. 
All such fishing shall be done in the manner and within the open seasons and catch limits as prescribed by and in strict compliance with all of the provisions of the Conservation Law of the State of New York.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note. See now Article II of the Environmental Conservation Law.
No person shall, within the park or on any parkway under the jurisdiction of the Commission, erect any structures, stand or platform; hold any meetings; perform any ceremony; make a speech, address or harangue; exhibit or distribute any sign, placard, notice, declaration or appeal of any kind or description; exhibit any dramatic performance or the performance in whole or in part of any interlude, tragedy, comedy, opera, ballet, play, farce, minstrelsy, dancing entertainment, motion picture, public fair, circus, juggling, rope-walking or any other acrobatics or show of any kind or nature; or run or race any horse or other animal to being in or on a vehicle, race with another vehicle or horse, whether such race be founded on any stake, bet or otherwise, without a permit from the Commission. No parade, drill or maneuver of any kind shall be conducted, nor shall any procession form for parade or proceed in the park or on any parkway under the jurisdiction of the Commission without a permit from the Commission.
The Commission or its representatives will regulate the use or recreation facilities and picnic and play areas so as to prevent congestion and shall distribute patrons of the park over the park areas in order to ensure the maximum use of park areas and in behalf of the comfort and safety of said patrons. All organized picnics or outings shall obtain special permits from the Commission previous to their arrival at the park.
A. 
If any marine craft at or in the vicinity of any dock, boat basin, mooring or anchorage under the jurisdiction of the Commission should burn, submerge or in any way become disabled, the owner, agent or permittee must immediately raise and/or remove any such disabled vessel from the vicinity. If said boat is not removed within twenty-four hours after orders to so remove it, it may be removed by the Commission at the expense of the owner or person in charge of said boat.
B. 
In the event that there is any damage to any park structure caused by the disabled craft, the owner, agent or permittee will repair said damage at his own expense.
No person shall, without a permit from the Commission, have or bring into the confines of the park any explosive, including any substance. compound, mixture or article having properties of such a character that, alone or in combination or contiguity with other substances or compounds, may decompose suddenly and generate sufficient heat, gas or pressure or any or all of them to produce rapid flame, combustion or administer a destructive blow to surrounding objects.
No person shall use roller skates or skate, sled, walk or go upon any ice, or snowshoe, or ski or coast with handsleds, bobs, carts or other vehicles, on wheels or runners, or be towed on skis, sled or skates, except at such times and places as may be designated therefor and until such ice is declared by or under the authority of the Commission to be in a safe condition therefor.
No person shall use or gain admittance to or attempt to use or gain admittance to any County park or the facilities therein for the use of which a charge is made by the Commission unless he shall pay the charge or price fixed by the Commission.
Parks shall be open to the general public daily, except as otherwise permitted by the Commission, from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset for all uses.
[Amended 6-5-1985 as L.L. No. 5-1985; 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 2-1987]
A. 
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute an offense, and any person guilty of such offense may, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that the violation of any provision of this chapter governing or regulating traffic, as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York. shall be a traffic infraction as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law and shall be punishable as provided therein. For the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter, which are herein defined as offenses or traffic infractions, shall nevertheless be deemed misdemeanors for the sole purpose of making applicable all procedural provisions of law relating to misdemeanors.
B. 
The Rockland County Parks Manager and the Park Rangers shall have the power to issue appearance tickets as the same are defined in Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law.