[HISTORY: Adopted by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-11-2013 by Ord. No. O-2013-00014]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Rules and Regulations, adopted 7-9-2003 by Ord. No. O-2003-00009, as amended.
This article shall be known and may be cited as "An Ordinance Establishing Rules and Regulations for the Safety and Conduct of Persons Using Essex County Parks, Playgrounds, Recreational Facilities and Other County Buildings and Property."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BEVERAGE CONTAINER
- A container designed to contain and sold to consumers containing beer, malt beverage, wines, distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages, mineral water, soda, water, juice or carbonated or noncarbonated soft drink of any variety in liquid form and intended for human consumption but shall not include containers to be used in feeding infants nor containers containing prescription and/or nonprescription drugs.
- Either the Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs or the Essex County Administrator, depending upon whether the application of this article is to property in County Parks or other County property.
- DRIVER or OPERATOR
- Any person who propels, operates or is in charge of a vehicle.
- COUNTY PROPERTY
- Any area in the County, owned or used by the County, and maintained by the County, excluding County roads, but including roadways in County parks.
- PARK or COUNTY PARK
- Any property within the County's Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI), and includes but is not limited to parks, reservations, golf courses and trails.
- Any written license issued by or under the authority of the Director permitting the performance of a specified act or acts.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- Any wheeled conveyance, whether motor-powered, animal-drawn, or self-propelled. The term shall include but not be limited to any type of scooter, skateboard, roller skates, roller blades, or trailer in tow of any size, kind or description. Exception is made for baby carriages and vehicles in the service of Essex County.
The Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs shall be responsible for the maintenance of all property and facilities within the County's Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI) and for the supervision of all operations and recreational activities therein.
In the interpretation of this article the provisions shall be construed as follows:
Any term in the singular shall include the plural;
Any term in the masculine shall include the feminine and neuter;
Any requirement or prohibition of any act shall extend to and include the causing or procuring, directly or indirectly, of such act;
No provision hereof shall make unlawful any act necessarily performed by an officer or employee of Essex County in line of duty or work, as such, or by any person, his/her agents, or employees, in the proper and necessary execution of the terms of any agreement with Essex County; and
Any act otherwise prohibited by law or local ordinance shall be lawful if performed under the provisions of a permit so to do and to the extent authorized hereby.
Buildings and other property.
Disfiguration and removal. No person shall willfully mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with, or displace or remove, any buildings, bridges, tables, benches, fireplaces, railings, paving or paving material; water lines or other public utilities or parts or appurtenances thereof; signs, notices or placards whether temporary or permanent; monuments, stakes, posts or other boundary markers; or other structures or equipment, facilities or County property or appurtenances whatever, whether real or personal.
Restrooms and washrooms. No person on County property shall fail to cooperate in maintaining restrooms and washrooms in a neat and sanitary condition.
Removal of natural resources. No person on County property shall dig or remove any soil, rock, stones, trees, shrubs or plants, downed timber or other wood or materials, or make any excavation by tool, equipment, blasting or other means or agency.
Erection of structures. No person on County property shall construct or erect any building or structure of any kind, whether permanent or temporary in character, or run or string any public service utility into, upon or across such lands, except on special written permit issued by the Director and on approval by the Board of Freeholders as provided in the Essex County Administrative Code.
Trees, shrubbery and lawns.
Injury and removal. No person on County property shall damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree or plant or injure the bark, or pick the flowers or seeds, of any tree or plant. Nor shall any person attach any rope, wire or other contrivance to any tree or plant. No person shall dig in or otherwise disturb grass or in any other way injure or impair the natural beauty of usefulness of any area.
Hitching of animals. No person on County property shall tie or hitch a horse or other animal to any tree or plant.
Wild animals and birds.
Hunting. No person on County property shall hunt, molest, harm, frighten, kill, trap, chase, tease, shoot or throw missiles at any animal, reptile or bird; nor remove or have in his/her possession the young of any wild animal, or the eggs or nest or young of any reptile or bird; nor collect, remove, have in his/her possession, give away, sell or offer to sell, or buy or offer to buy, or accept as a gift, any specimen alive or dead of any of the group of tree snails. Exception to the foregoing is made for snakes known to be poisonous.
Feeding of animals. No person on County property shall give or offer, or attempt to give, any food or any other substance, including but not limited to tobacco, alcohol or other noxious substances, to any wildlife within County property.
Pollution of waters. No person on County property shall throw, discharge or otherwise place or cause to be placed in the waters of any fountain, pond, lake, stream or other body of water in or adjacent to any County property or any tributary, stream, storm sewer or drain flowing into such waters, any substance, matter or thing, liquid or solid, which will or may result in the pollution of such waters.
Refuse and trash. No person on County property shall dump, deposit or leave any material or debris, whether organic or inorganic. No refuse or trash shall be placed in any waters in or contiguous to any County property, or left anywhere, but may be placed in the proper receptacles provided therefor. If receptacles are not so provided, all such rubbish or waste shall be carried away from the County property by the person responsible for its presence and disposed of legally elsewhere.
Vehicle repair. No person on County property shall wash their vehicle or repair their vehicle except for emergency situations.
State Motor Vehicle Act. All provisions for the New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Act and traffic laws will apply on County property and will be strictly enforced, with such further restrictions as hereinafter stated.
Vehicles confined to roads. No person on County park property shall drive any vehicle on any area except the paved County roadways or parking areas where allowed, or such other areas as may on occasion be specifically designated as temporary parking areas by the Director.
Parking hours. No person in a vehicle shall stop, stand, or park on any County park property after 10:00 p.m. except when authorized by the Director.
Commercial vehicles. No person shall operate a commercial vehicle through County park property except on such roads or highways designated by the Director.
Bicycles confirmed to roads. No person on County property shall ride a bicycle or other vehicle on any surface other than a paved vehicular road, or on a path designated for that purpose. A bicyclist is permitted to wheel or push a bicycle by hand over any grassy area or wooded trail or on any paved area reserved for pedestrian use.
Swimming. No person in a County park shall swim, bathe or wade in any waters or waterways.
Boating. No person shall bring into County property or operate any boat, raft, or other watercraft, whether motor-powered or not, upon any waters, except in accordance with applicable regulations as are now or may hereafter be adopted.
Fishing. No person shall fish in any water or waterways in or adjacent to any waterways on County property, except at such places provided therefor and in compliance with applicable regulations as are now or as may hereafter be adopted.
Picnics. No person on County property shall leave a picnic area before the fire is completely extinguished and before all trash in the nature of boxes, papers, cans, bottles, garbage and other refuse is placed in the disposal receptacles where provided. If no such trash receptacles are available, then refuse and trash shall be carried away from the park area by the picnicker to be properly disposed of elsewhere. All picnics held on County property require a permit and shall be confined to areas designated for such use.
Camping. No person on County property shall camp except with permission of the Director and only for groups of persons under adequate supervision. No person shall set up tents, shacks or any other temporary shelter for the purpose of overnight camping, nor shall any person leave in a park after closing hours any movable structure or special vehicle to be used or that could be used for such purpose, such as house trailer, camp trailer or the like.
Games and sports. No person on County property shall participate in games, contests, and sports except in areas designated for such use, and in no case shall such use be permitted in areas where lawns or planting may be injured, or where such activity may interfere with park or playground regulations. The following athletic fields and facilities require a permit for use: baseball, softball, football, soccer, cricket, basketball, and lacrosse.
Model airplanes and rockets. No person on County property shall operate a motorized model airplane or rocket.
Horseback riding. No person on County property shall ride a horse except on designated bridle trails. Where permitted, horses shall be thoroughly broken and properly restrained and ridden with due care, and shall not be allowed to graze or go unattended, nor shall be hitched to any rock, tree or shrub.
Rappelling. No person on County property shall engage in any form of rappelling or climbing.
[Amended 3-9-2016 by Ord. No. O-2016-00007]
No person on County property shall bring in, possess, serve, or consume any alcoholic beverages at any time, except that the service and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be permitted at duly authorized public events held on County property at Brookdale Park, Cherry Blossom Welcome Center at Branch Brook Park, Kip's Castle, Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and Richard J. Codey Arena, provided that persons desiring to host a special event thereat:
Submit to the Director for approval a fully completed alcoholic beverage special event permit application;
That said application is approved by the Director in his sole discretion;
That persons hosting the special event and all participants therein adhere to the terms and provisions of the alcoholic beverage permit rules and regulations; and
That a nonrefundable permit processing fee in the amount of $150 is submitted together with said application.
The sale and serving of alcohol (beer and wine only) shall be permitted at the Turtle Back Zoo Cafe, effective April 1, 2016.
The consumption of alcohol (beer and wine only) during special events at County facilities, including Verona Park Boathouse and Robert O'Toole Community Center in Cedar Grove Park, shall be permitted effective January 18, 2017.
[Added 1-18-2017 by Ord. No. O-2016-00026]
The sale and serving of alcohol (beer and wine only) at Verona Boathouse effective July 1, 2018.
[Added 2-7-2018 by Ord. No. O-2018-00003]
Dogs and domestic animals. Dogs or any domestic animals are not permitted on playgrounds, courts, or play field areas at any time. The Director may prohibit dogs entirely in other designated areas. Dogs are not permitted on County property, except when held by leash or in a designated off-leash area and under the control of the owner or other person having such dog in charge. No dog or other domestic animal shall be permitted to be at large, and any owner or person in charge of such animal shall be responsible for the control thereof. Any owner or person in charge of any dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by any dog on County property and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.
Fires. No person on County property shall build or attempt to build a fire except in such areas and under such regulations as may be designated by the Director. No person shall drop, throw or otherwise scatter lighted matches, burning cigarettes or cigars, tobacco paper or other flammable material, within any County area or on any highway, road or street abutting or contiguous thereto.
Closed areas. No person on County property shall enter or drive in an area posted as "Closed to the Public," nor shall any person use, or abet the use of any area in violation of posted notices.
Exhibit permits. No person on County property shall fail to produce and exhibit any permit from the Director he/she claims to have upon request of any authorized person who desires to inspect the same for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any ordinance or rule(s).
Interference with permittees and other users. No person on County property shall disturb or interfere unreasonably with any person or party occupying any area, or participating in any activity under authority of a valid permit or any party simply making valid use of County facilities.
Solicitation and literature distribution. Solicitation for services/donations, distribution or display of handbills, cards or advertisements of any nature is prohibited unless the person or activity is authorized by the Director and the activity is done in the areas designated by the Director for such use.
Vending and peddling. No person on County property shall expose or offer for sale any article or thing, nor shall any person station or place any stand, cart or vehicle for the transportation, sale or display of any such article or thing, except under the authority and regulation of the Director.
Advertising. No person on County property shall announce, advertise or call the public attention in any way to any article or service for sale or hire.
Signs. No person on County property shall paste, glue, tack or otherwise post any sign, placard, advertisement or inscription whatever, nor shall any person erect or cause to be erected any sign whatever on any public lands, highways or roads adjacent to County property, with the exception of temporary directional signs or announcements within County Parks which are authorized by the Parks Director in connection with approved events or activities.
Persons using designated dog parks within County property must abide by the following rules:
Use at your own risk. Dog owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behaviors of their dogs at all times.
Dogs must be vaccinated and have license tags.
Limit of two dogs per person.
Dogs must be accompanied by a person 15 years of age or older.
Dogs must be leashed when outside the off-leash area.
No puppies younger than four months old.
No spiked, pronged or choke collars.
No children under 10 years of age inside the off-leash area.
Owners must be attentive, and clean up, remove and dispose of their dog's feces.
If a dog becomes aggressive, it must be leashed and removed immediately.
No dogs in heat.
[Amended 10-7-2015 by Ord. No. O-2015-00012]
Hours of operation: until dusk.
The dog park may be closed for maintenance without prior notice.
Dog owners who fail to comply with the above rules and regulations may receive a summons up to $1,000.
Hours; closed areas.
Hours. Except for unusual and unforeseen emergencies, County property shall be open to the public every day of the year during designated hours. The opening and closing hours for each individual County area shall be posted therein for public information. No person shall be in any County public area before daybreak or after 10:00 p.m. except as provided by the Director. This restriction shall not affect the right of the public to use the pathways and roadways in and through public ground for the purpose of travel.
Closed areas. Any section or part of any County property may be declared closed to the public by the Director at any time and for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular and stated intervals whether daily or otherwise and either entirely or merely to certain uses, as the Director finds reasonably necessary.
Permit issuance and exemption. All permits and special permission for exemptions from any rules and regulations as set forth herein shall be issued by the Director. All permits and special permissions shall be either printed or written and be signed by the Director.
Application. A person seeking issuance of a permit hereunder shall file an application with the appropriate County Office. The application shall state:
The name and address of the applicant;
The name and address of the person, persons, corporation or association sponsoring the activity, if any;
The day and hours for which the permit is desired;
The County property or portion thereof for which such permit is desired;
An estimate of the anticipated attendance;
Any other information which the Director shall find reasonably necessary to give a fair determination as to whether a permit should issue hereunder.
Standards for issuance. The Director shall issue a permit hereunder when he finds:
That the proposed activity or use of the County property will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the general public enjoyment of the County property;
That the proposed activity or use will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the promotion of public health, welfare, safety and recreation;
That the proposed activity or use is not reasonably anticipated to incite violence, crime or disorderly conduct;
That the proposed activity will not entail unusual, extraordinary or burdensome expense or police operation by the County;
That the facilities desired have not been reserved for other use at the day and hour required in the application.
Appeal. Within five days after receipt of an application the Director shall apprise an applicant in writing of his reasons for refusing a permit. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a permit by the Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs shall have the right to appeal in writing within five days to the County Administrator who shall consider the application under the standards set forth in Subsection B(2) hereof and sustain or overrule the Director's decision within 10 days. The decision of the County Administrator shall be final.
Effect of permit. A permittee shall be bound by all County rules and regulations and all applicable ordinances fully as though the same were inserted in said permits.
Liability of permittee. The person or persons to whom a permit is issued shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury sustained by any person whatever by reason of the negligence of the person or persons to whom such permit shall have been issued. Essex County shall not be liable in such instances.
Revocation. The Director shall have the authority to revoke a permit upon a finding of violation of any rule or ordinance, or upon good cause known.
Ejection; seizure of property.
Ejectment. The Director and all designated County employees shall have the authority to eject from the County property any person acting in violation of any applicable ordinance or statute.
Seizure of property. The Director and any County employee so designated shall have the authority to seize and confiscate any property, thing or device on County property, or used, in violation of any applicable ordinance or statute.
Fees for permits and for admission to County programs and activities may be charged as authorized by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall upon conviction be subject to the replacement, repair or restoration of any damaged County property and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 (except as otherwise expressly provided herein) and/or imprisonment in the County jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Violations of the provisions of this article shall be punishable upon conviction.
This article may be subject to amendment through subsequent provisions recommend by the Director and approved by the Board of Chosen Freeholders in accordance with amendment process of N.J.S.A. 40:41A-101(6).
This article may be enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction.
[Adopted 2-18-2004 by Ord. No. O-2004-00001; amended in its entirety 12-14-2011 by Ord. No. O-2011-00016; 2-7-2018 by Ord. No. O-2018-00002]
[Amended 1-16-2013 by Ord. No. O-2012-00017; 9-11-2013 by Ord. No. 00010; 11-6-2014 by Ord. No. O-2014-00016; 4-8-2015 by Ord. No. O-2015-0004; 1-13-2016 by Ord. No. O-2015-00018; 12-7-2016 by Ord. No. O-2016-00025]
The fee structure shall be as follows: