Kent County, DE
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Levy Court of Kent County 1-20-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parks and Recreation Commission — See Ch. 60.
Park fees — See Ch. 128, Part 2.

§ 168-1 Purpose.

These regulations are established to govern the conduct of members of the public in parks and recreational facilities established and maintained by the Kent County Department of Community Services, Parks Division, and to protect the public property.

§ 168-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise clearly indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DIVISION
Refers to the Division of Parks responsible to the Director of the Department of Community Services and to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
FACILITY and/or PARK
Any park, recreation center, playground, ball field, walkway, road, parking lot, picnic area, pavilion, stage, playscape, support facility or any other public area in Kent County that is owned, operated, or maintained by the County for public use.
[Amended 8-25-2009 by Ord. No. 09-17]

§ 168-3 Recreation facilities; hours of operation.

A. 
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, recreation facilities will be open to the public from dawn to dusk.
B. 
The park system and recreational facilities established, maintained and operated by the County is open to all members of the public irrespective of race, sex, national origin, color or creed.
C. 
Any section or part of any park or recreational facility may be declared closed to the public by the Division at any time and for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular and stated intervals and either entirely or for certain uses, as the Division shall find necessary. Any aggrieved party may appeal to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

§ 168-4 Proper demeanor.

A. 
Conduct. All persons using any recreation facility shall conduct themselves properly at all times and shall act in a manner that shall not jeopardize the life, limb or safety of another.
B. 
Proper clothing. All persons using any recreation facility shall be properly clothed at all times, in conformity with the use being made of the facility.
C. 
Obscene language. The use of obscene language is prohibited within any recreation facility.
D. 
Abuse of facilities. Abuse of any recreation facility or any part of them is prohibited.

§ 168-5 Permits; fee schedule.

A. 
Permits are required for the following purposes:
(1) 
For exclusive use of recreation buildings and grounds, pavilions and other areas designated by the Division.
(2) 
Special events of a cultural or recreational nature and pageants held on park property.
(3) 
Restricted vending/concession of food or beverage items; permit to be issued in conjunction with an application for exclusive use of recreational facilities.
[Added 8-9-2011 by Ord. No. 11-16]
B. 
Any person or association of persons desiring to reserve one or more of the above-mentioned facilities for any lawful activity shall file an application for a permit with the Division, in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
The application shall be made in the form prescribed by the Division. Application shall be made 15 days previous to the date on which such reservation is desired.
(a) 
Facility exclusive use permit application will be accepted no earlier than three months in advance of requested event date.
[Added 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. 11-10]
(2) 
The Division shall issue a permit hereunder when it is satisfied that:
(a) 
The proposed activity of use of the park will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the general public use and enjoyment of the park.
(b) 
The proposed activity and use will not interfere with or detract from the promotion of public health, morals, welfare, safety and recreation.
(c) 
The proposed activity or use is not reasonably anticipated to incite violence, crime or disorderly conduct.
(d) 
The proposed activity will not entail unusual, extraordinary or burdensome expense for police operation or maintenance by the County.
(e) 
The facilities desired have not been already reserved for other use at the day and hour stated in the application.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(2)(f), regarding the total number of comparable reserved facilities, which immediately followed, added 8-25-2009 by Ord. No. 09-17, was repealed 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. 11-10.
(3) 
The Division shall take the following additional considerations into account in considering the application to fairly determine as to whether a permit should issue hereunder.
(a) 
The size and purpose for which the park is normally used.
(b) 
The location of the park and the area surrounding it.
(c) 
The facilities available to accommodate the intended use.
C. 
A permit fee schedule shall be maintained by the County for each park facility or activity that is subject to a permit fee. These fees shall be collected by the Division at the time of reservation confirmation to include a security deposit of a value equal to the permit fee for the activity.
[Added 8-25-2009 by Ord. No. 09-17]

§ 168-6 Appeal from refusal of permit.

Within five days after receipt of an application, the Division shall apprise an applicant of its decision to grant or refuse a permit, and if a permit is refused shall advise the applicant of the reasons therefor, and any aggrieved person shall have the right to appeal in writing to the Parks and Recreation Commission, who shall consider the application in the light of the standards set forth herein and sustain or overrule the decision within five days of receipt of appeal.

§ 168-7 Effect of permit.

The grantee of a permit shall be bound by all park rules and regulations in force as though the same were inserted in the permit. The person to whom a permit is issued shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury sustained by any person whatever by reasons of the negligence of the person or persons to whom such permits are issued.

§ 168-8 Revocation.

The Division shall have the authority to revoke a permit upon violation of any rule or regulation.

§ 168-9 Discrimination on account of race, etc., illegal.

The operator of any public facility or accommodation in a park area and its employees while using park areas are prohibited from publicizing the facilities, accommodations or any activity conducted therein in any manner that would directly or inferentially reflect upon or question the acceptability of any person or persons because of race, sex, creed, color or national origin by refusing to furnish such person or persons any accommodation, facility, service or privilege offered to or enjoyed by the general public.

§ 168-10 Powers of Division.

A. 
The Division is expressly empowered to delegate to any member of its staff or to any member of the Delaware State Police the power given the Division by these regulations by general or special order.
B. 
The Division is empowered, with the consent of the Parks and Recreation Commission, to prescribe and authorize the collection of such service fees for the use of park and recreational facilities by general or special order as it may deem fit.

§ 168-11 Vehicles in park areas.

A. 
It shall be prohibited for any person to operate a motor vehicle, motorcycle, motorbike or other two- or three-wheeled motor-driven vehicle upon any lands administered by the Kent County Department of Community Services, Parks Division, unless said vehicle is licensed for use upon public highways and roadways.
B. 
No person shall operate a motor vehicle, motorcycle, motorbike or other two- or three-wheeled motor-driven vehicle upon any lands administered by Kent County Department of Community Services, Parks Division, unless said person has been issued and is the holder of a valid license or permit to operate said vehicle on public highways and roadways. License or permit shall be in the immediate possession of the licensee at all times when driving a motor vehicle and shall display the same upon demand.
C. 
No person shall authorize or permit a motor vehicle of any type owned by him or under his control to be driven by any person on County park lands, knowing that said person has no legal right to do so, or shall authorize or permit said vehicle to be driven in violation of any of the provisions of the County's rules and regulations.
D. 
No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any park employee invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic on County park lands.
E. 
The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the roadway or area.
F. 
Preferential right-of-way at an intersection or other place may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized and installed by the County.
(1) 
Except when directed to proceed by a park employee or traffic-control device, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall come to a complete stop before entering the intersection.
(2) 
The operator of any vehicle who has come to a full stop, as provided in Subsection A of this regulation, shall not enter into, upon or across such intersection until such movement can be made in safety.
G. 
Enforcement of traffic laws. All traffic laws and regulations applicable in areas covered by this part shall be observed by the operators of vehicles, bicycles, equestrians and by pedestrians who shall also comply with the official traffic signs and signals, and traffic direction by voice, hand or whistle from any member of the Delaware State Police or designated park employee on duty in an area covered by this part. These directions may include signals for slowing down, stopping, backing, approaching or departing from any place, the manner of taking up or setting down passengers and the loading and unloading of any material.
H. 
No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skate, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any motor vehicle being operated on County park lands.
I. 
No person shall ride upon any vehicle without the consent of the driver, and when any person is riding on any vehicle with the driver's consent, no part of the person's body may protrude beyond the limits of the vehicle.
J. 
No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle on lands administered by the County, unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise. No person while on County park lands shall at anytime use a horn other than a reasonable warning signal or make any unnecessary or unreasonable harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning devices.
K. 
No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any lands administered by the County unless so constructed or loaded as to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping therefrom.
L. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle or any other type of vehicle, or to ride or lead any horse within any area administered by the County, except on such roads, paths or other areas specifically designated by the County for such purpose.
M. 
It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to be allowed to remain on lands administered by the County after closing hours.
N. 
Any person empowered to enforce the County rules and regulations while in the performance of his duties may remove or cause to be removed from any lands administered by the County, at the owner's or operator's expense, any motor vehicle or part thereof parked or standing in such a manner as to create a hazard by interfering with the normal movement of traffic or by preventing the entrance to or exit from any roadway, berm, trail or parking lot; by interfering with emergency fire-fighting or rescue equipment; being involved in an accident and rendered incapable of being moved under its own power; when the owner or operator has been arrested and detained; when the owner or operator is unable, unwilling or not available to move said vehicle or camping unit immediately; or when said vehicle, camping unit or part thereof is found to be in violation.
(1) 
No vehicle or camping unit removed or caused to be removed pursuant to this section shall be released until payment is made for such removal and/or storage and proper authority to possess and operate said vehicle or part thereof has been displayed by the person attempting to recover said vehicle, camping unit or part thereof.
(2) 
No liability shall occur to the Department or its authorized agents for any damage or loss caused by such removal.
O. 
Aviation. No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to descend or alight on or upon any lands or waters administered by the County any aircraft, flying machine, balloon, parachute or other apparatus for aviation except with the prior consent of the Division or its authorized agent. "Voluntarily" in this connection shall mean anything other than a forced or emergency landing. Flying of model aircraft or the launching of model rockets shall not be permitted within County park lands except in areas set aside and designated for such purpose.

§ 168-12 Intoxicated persons, alcoholic beverages and drugs prohibited.

A. 
Intoxicated persons. It shall be unlawful for any person to enter or use any recreation facility who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drugs.
B. 
Possessing alcoholic beverages or drugs. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any alcoholic beverage or drug while within the confines of a County park.

§ 168-13 Glassware prohibited.

Glassware of any description whatsoever shall not be brought into any facility.

§ 168-14 Throwing objects in water prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drop or throw any object in the water.

§ 168-15 Gambling.

Gambling in any form or the operation of gambling devices whether for merchandise or otherwise in park areas is prohibited.

§ 168-16 Signs.

No person shall tamper with, mar, remove or destroy any official or public sign.

§ 168-17 Dumping.

No person shall dump any material or refuse of any description in any area covered by this park, except pursuant to the provisions of any official permit.

§ 168-18 Storage.

No person shall store material of any description or displace, leave, house or permit to be placed or left in any area covered by this part vehicles or parts of vehicles or rubbish of any description, except pursuant to the provision of an official permit.

§ 168-19 Fences and other structures.

No person shall enclose any area covered by this part or erect any fence or wall or build any trail, road, bridge or other structure in any area covered by this part, except pursuant to the provision of an official permit.

§ 168-20 Spilling of deleterious substance.

No person shall pour or cause to spill or permit to escape in any area covered by this part any oil, gas, salt, acid or other deleterious substance whether liquid, solid or gaseous, except pursuant to the provision of an official permit.

§ 168-21 Other injury or removal.

Any other injury to or removal of any park property, except under authority of law, is prohibited.

§ 168-22 Soils, rocks and minerals.

The destruction, injury, defacement, removal or disturbance in any manner of any soil, rock, mineral formation or phenomenon of crystalization is prohibited. The provision of this section does not pertain to construction projects authorized by the County.

§ 168-23 Other prohibited activities.

A. 
Lubricating, repairing or performing any mechanical work upon vehicles except emergency in park areas is prohibited.
B. 
The throwing of objects which may cause injury to persons or property on any road, path, walk, parking lot or lawn area is prohibited.
C. 
No person shall enter, remain or loiter in or around any comfort station or other public structure in a park area except to use such facility for the purpose for which it is intended.
D. 
No person over the age of six years shall use the rest rooms and washrooms designated for the opposite sex.
E. 
No person shall deposit any bodily waste in or on any portion of any comfort station or other public structure in a park area excepting directly into such particular fixtures as may be provided for that purpose, nor place any bottle, can, cloth, rag or metal, wood or stone substance in any of the plumbing fixtures in such station or structure.
F. 
No person shall cut, deface, mar, destroy or break or write on or scratch any walls, floor, ceiling, partition, fixture or furniture or use towels in any improper manner or waste soap or toilet paper in any of the facilities provided in any comfort station or other public structure in a park area.
G. 
No person shall prune, cut, carry away, pull up, dig, fell, bore, chop, saw, chip, pick, move, sever, climb, molest, take, break, deface, destroy, set fire to, scorch, carve, paint, mark, or in any manner interfere with, tamper, mutilate, misuse, disturb or damage any tree, shrub, plant, grass, flower or part thereof, nor shall any person permit any chemical, whether solid, fluid or gaseous, to seep, drip, drain or be emptied, sprayed, dusted or injected upon, about or into any tree, shrub, plant grass, flower or part thereof, except when specifically authorized, nor shall any person build fires or station or use any tar kettle, heater, road roller or other engine within an area covered by this part in such a manner that vapor, fumes or heat therefrom may injure any tree or other vegetation.
H. 
No person shall make any use of lawn area which tends to injure the lawns in any manner. This section shall not be construed to prohibit casual strolling over lawn areas.
I. 
No person shall hitch, tie, fasten, nail, anchor, screw or otherwise attach any wire, cable, chain, rope, card, sign, poster advertisement, notice, announcement, handbill, board or other article or device to any tree, shrub or plant without first obtaining an official permit.
J. 
No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels, holes or trenches, or lay any sewer or pipe line, drain, conduit or cable, walk, path, drive or highway within or affecting any park area without first obtaining an official permit. In making permitted excavations proper care shall be taken to prevent injury to the roots of trees, shrubs or plants. Upon completion of the work, the ground surface shall be restored by the permittee and the correction of any future settling of the backfill shall likewise be the responsibility of the permittee.
K. 
All trees, shrubs or other plants growing within any park near any excavation or construction of any kind shall be protected with a substantial and adequate guard constructed by the permittee.
L. 
Any person owning or operating beneath the ground on or adjacent to park areas, any pipes or other conduits for transmission or delivery of illuminating gas, oil, steam, electric current or other substance in liquid or gaseous form shall locate and maintain such pipes or conduits free from leaks and in such condition as to prevent injury to any tree, shrub, plant, lawn or other vegetation growing within park areas.
M. 
No person shall string any wire or wires through or above any park areas, nor prune or remove branches or trees which may now or hereafter interfere, rub or grow near existing wires; nor attach any wire, insulator or device to trees or within any area covered by the root system of trees, without first obtaining an official permit. Any person having jurisdiction or control over any wire or conduit for the transmission of an electric current shall guard all trees through which such wires or conduits pass against any injury from the wires or the electric current carried thereby. The device or means used in each case, be of a type approved by the County.
N. 
No person shall plant or cause to be planted any shrub or plant or introduce any wild or exotic animals within a park area without first obtaining permission from the Division.
O. 
No person shall discharge or set off fireworks, firearms or other explosives.
P. 
No person shall catch, injure, destroy or interfere in any way with any wild animal with the exception of fishing as covered in § 168-29, Fishing in park areas.
Q. 
No persons shall indulge in riotous, boisterous, threatening or indecent conduct or abusive, threatening, profane or indecent language.
R. 
No person shall play audio devices, including radios, television sets, public address systems and musical instruments, when disturbing the quiet of the picnic areas or other public places and gatherings without a special permit indicating such permission.
S. 
No person shall solicit alms or contributions in parks or recreational areas, except with the official permit obtained for this purpose.
T. 
Grazing of any animal in the parks is prohibited, except by permit obtained for this purpose.
U. 
No person shall bring into the park and deposit trash from private premises in trash receptacles.

§ 168-24 Regulations for special purpose activities areas.

The following activities are prohibited in the parks except within designated areas and subject to special regulations:
A. 
Model airplane flying.
B. 
Archery.
C. 
Possession and use of firearms of any type.
D. 
Golf practice.
E. 
Fires of any kind.
F. 
Horseback riding.
G. 
Use of any motor-propelled vehicle, including minibikes, trail bikes and snow sleds off a road.
H. 
Games involving thrown or other propelled objects such as stones, arrows, javelins or model airplanes except on areas set apart for such forms of recreation.
I. 
Swimming, baths or wading.
J. 
Hunting.

§ 168-25 Horses.

Horses shall not be allowed to move over any park area without a special permit indicating permission.

§ 168-26 Picnics in park areas.

All trash in nature of boxes, paper, cans, bottles, garbage and other refuse is to be placed in disposal receptacles where provided.

§ 168-27 Athletics.

Permits for set games. Playing league baseball, softball, football and other set games or sports in park areas except under official permit and upon the grounds provided for such purpose is prohibited.

§ 168-28 Ice skating.

A. 
All persons shall skate at their own risk and use their own judgment as to when and where the ice is safe for skating.
B. 
When skating, all persons shall be under obligation to refrain from fast and reckless skating when such skating might endanger the life or limb of other persons.
C. 
Kent County Parks and Recreation Commission reserves the right to prohibit ice skating at any time that it is deemed in the best interest of the public.

§ 168-29 Fishing in park areas.

Fishing shall be permitted, in accordance with laws and regulations as set forth by the Kent County Parks and Recreation Commission in all waters and from all lands under the jurisdiction of the County during regular park hours.

§ 168-30 Camping.

Camping is prohibited except where permitted by the Division.

§ 168-31 Fires.

A. 
In picnic areas, fires shall be limited only in the established fireplaces and barbecue grills commercially manufactured for such purposes. Hot coals shall be dumped in the container provided for such purposes.
B. 
For cooking purposes charcoal grills, gasoline or gas stoves may also be used in picnic areas.
C. 
Due diligence shall be exercised in building and putting out fires and the disposal of charcoal to prevent damage to trees and vegetation and to prevent forest fires.
D. 
Smoking or the building of fires may be prohibited or limited by the Division or Fire Marshal when, in its or his judgment, the fire hazard makes such action necessary.

§ 168-32 Violation of regulation; revocation of permit.

Any person who shall be found guilty of violating any provision of these regulations shall, upon demand made by the Division, immediately surrender any permit granted to him under the provisions of these regulations to the Division. Thereafter, no similar permits shall be issued to the person until the Division is satisfied that the person will not violate similar provisions of these regulations in the future.

§ 168-33 Functions.

A. 
No permit shall be issued for a function for any purpose if it appears that the conduct of the function may reasonably be expected to deprive the public of the reasonable use and enjoyment of the park or interfere with the public's right for free passage in the park. No loitering or unlawful assembly in parks is permitted.
B. 
On days when pageants, ceremonies, celebrations and entertainments in park areas are to be held, special regulations as to the parking of vehicles and positions and movements of spectators shall be promulgated by the Division. All persons within the area of such special regulations shall obey or comply with the lawful orders of the police or other authorized persons engaged in maintaining order.

§ 168-34 Restriction of photography.

No photographs or motion or sound pictures shall be taken in the park system for commercial purposes or for use in commercial advertising except with permission of the Division and on payment of fees prescribed by it.

§ 168-35 Dangerous weapons.

Carrying or possessing, while in any area covered by this part, a gun, air gun, bow and arrow, sling, dart, projectile thrower, knife with blade more than three inches long or any other dangerous weapon is prohibited, provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as to prevent the use of target ranges and the use of bows and arrows by park visitors on officially established archery ranges.

§ 168-36 Lost and found objects.

Lost articles or money which are found in park areas shall be turned over to the Division. Proper records shall be kept by the Department of Community Services, Parks Division, of the receipt of and disposition of such articles. If the lawful owner of any article or money deposited with the Division does not claim the same within a period of 30 days, it may be retained as the property of the County or may be disposed of at a public auction.

§ 168-37 Business activities.

No person shall carry on, conduct or solicit any business, trade, occupation or profession in any park area except in pursuance of a concession, permit or lease granted by the Division under the prescribed regulations for this purpose.

§ 168-38 Installation permits.

A. 
No facility, utility, works, building or other installation may be installed or maintained in a park area without an official permit designated as an "installation permit."
B. 
Installation permits may be issued by the Division and shall be subject to the payment of such fees and such conditions of location, relocation, removal, restoration, design, materials, method of construction, time expiration, termination and other requirements as may be prescribed in the permit or by regulations of Kent County and instructions issued thereunder. The Division may require a cash or surety bond acceptable to it in such amount as it deems adequate to insure full compliance with the conditions of the permit.
C. 
All permittees must comply with all state and applicable local laws and all regulations of Kent County Parks and Recreation Commission relating to all park areas.
D. 
An installation permit may be revoked and the removal of the installation required by the Division with the approval of the Levy Court by mailing to the permittee written notice to that effect at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the revocation of the permit.
E. 
Appeals from administrative action relating to installation permits issued pursuant to Subsection B of this section may be taken from any administrative action by filing with the Division a written request for reconsideration thereof or notice of appeal. Administrative action of the Division shall be final unless an appeal and a statement setting forth in detail the reasons why the administrative action taken by the Division is contrary to or in conflict with the facts, the law or the regulations of the County. Upon receipt of such a statement, the Division shall submit a statement reviewing the case and presenting the facts and considerations upon which its action is based. The two statements, together with all papers comprising the record in the case, shall be transmitted to the Levy Court, which will thereupon consider the case and recommendations from the Division and advise both the appellant and the Division of their decision.

§ 168-39 Violations and penalties.

A. 
General penalty. In any case where there shall be a violation of any section of this chapter for which no penalty is provided, the person violating that section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100 for each violation.
B. 
Traffic violations. Traffic violations will be enforced by the Delaware State Police in accordance with ordinances established by the state, and summons issued in accordance with the law.
C. 
Statutes, other applicable regulations. Any person violating any state law or municipal law or ordinance which is in force and applicable to any area covered by this part shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with the penalty provisions of such act, rule or regulations.
D. 
Place of trial. Any person violating any of the regulations contained in this part in park areas is subject to prosecution and trail in the state courts in which jurisdiction the offense occurred.

§ 168-40 Supervision of facilities.

The supervision of each recreation facility shall at all times be under the control of the Kent County Levy Court, or the duly authorized officers and employees of the County.

§ 168-41 Nonliability of County.

A. 
The recreation facilities operated by the County are governmental functions of the County. All persons using recreation facilities at any time do so at their own risk.
B. 
These regulations on promulgation repeal all preexisting regulations in force, except that such regulations shall be deemed to be force for the purpose of perfecting any right vested, accrued or arising therefrom.