Chapter 6.12
PARKS CODE

Sections:

6.12.010    Purpose.

6.12.020    Construction.

6.12.030    Definitions.

6.12.040    Rule making authority – Code of conduct.

6.12.050    Closing hours for parks.

6.12.060    Vendors and concessionaires in parks.

6.12.070    Special events under permit.

6.12.080    Sale of beer, wine and/or liquor in city parks.

6.12.090    Reservations for camping in selected parks or park areas.

6.12.095    Park facility reservation system.

6.12.100    Offenses in parks that are gross misdemeanors.

6.12.110    Offenses in parks that are misdemeanors.

6.12.120    Violations in parks that are infractions.

6.12.130    Park exclusion.

6.12.140    Emergency park closing.

6.12.150    Discrimination prohibited.

6.12.160    Reward posting.

6.12.170    Severability.

6.12.010 Purpose.

The city of Oak Harbor finds as follows, and declares that this chapter is passed to address the following facts:

(1) Unlawful and inappropriate behavior in the city’s parks diminishes these precious assets and deprives citizens of the full use and enjoyment of the natural beauty and amenities of the city’s parks;

(2) A wide range of illegal disorderly behavior can transform a park into an unwelcoming, unattractive, and ultimately an unsafe public place requiring increased expenditures for public safety and maintenance;

(3) To preserve the city’s parks in their desired condition for all citizens, the city needs a range of criminal sanctions and civil tools to deter illegal behavior, prevent its recurrence and provide for the removal of offenders from the city’s parks. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.020 Construction.

This chapter is hereby declared to be an exercise of the police power of the state of Washington and the city of Oak Harbor for the public peace, health, safety and welfare, and its provisions shall be liberally construed. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.030 Definitions.

The terms used in this chapter and other chapters concerning or referring to parks, unless clearly contrary to or inconsistent with the context in which used, shall be construed and mean as follows:

(1) “Administrator” means the public works superintendent or his or her designee in charge of the parks department except for the marina in which case, the harbormaster is the administrator. During absences from the city for whatever reason, the mayor may designate an alternative “administrator” to carry out the duties under this chapter. The person appointed need not be the same person as the one to take over other duties of the public works superintendent in charge of the Oak Harbor park system.

(2) “Athletic facility in a park” shall be those open air facilities in a park prepared for a specific athletic activity, including but not limited to softball or baseball fields, soccer fields, football fields, tennis courts, and a running track. Said athletic facilities shall be identified with a sign identifying them as an athletic facility.

(3) “Chief of police” means the chief of police of the Oak Harbor police department or his or her designee.

(4) “Camp” means to remain overnight, to erect a tent or shelter, or to use sleeping equipment, a vehicle, or a trailer or camper for the purpose or in such a way as will permit remaining overnight.

(5) “Council” means the members of the city council of the city of Oak Harbor.

(6) “Felony violation” means the violation of a criminal law, the conviction of which would (a) carry a maximum sentence in excess of one year’s imprisonment, or (b) constitute a felony in RCW Title 9A.

(7) “Park” or “parks” means all parks and well sites maintained by the city, public squares, park drives, parkways in parks, boulevards in parks, bathing beaches, play and recreation grounds owned by or under the jurisdiction of the city, and marine facilities. Most but not necessarily all parks as defined herein are identified and described in the comprehensive plan as is now in effect or hereafter amended.

(8) “Park rule” means those particular rules or codes of conduct adopted in accordance with OHMC 6.12.040.

(9) “Running at large” means a dog or animal off the premises of the owner and not under the immediate control of the owner or other competent person authorized by the owner by means of a leash, cord or chain except when in or on any vehicle and securely confined to such vehicle.

(10) “Weapon violation” means possession or use of a weapon in violation of Chapter 9.41 RCW.

(11) Wherever consistent with the context of this chapter, words in the present, past or future tenses shall be construed to be interchangeable with each other and words in the singular number shall be construed to include the plural. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.040 Rule making authority – Code of conduct.

The administrator and the chief of police or their designees shall have the power to enforce this chapter. The administrator and the chief of police or their designees shall have the power to draft, secure public input on, and present to the council for final adoption rules and regulations consistent with this chapter to manage and control the parks of the city. Such rules and regulations may:

(1) Clarify, interpret or apply this chapter;

(2) Further regulate the use of city parks consistent with this chapter;

(3) Further regulate conduct in city parks consistent with this chapter;

(4) Designate restricted areas in city parks;

(5) Establish, change or alter opening and closing hours for particular parks, or particular facilities in a park, or the times and hours for entry of motor vehicles into parks;

(6) Regulate public or private recreation programs using city parks;

(7) If otherwise allowed by this chapter, restrict and/or prohibit the use of any skateboard, roller skate, coaster or any other wheeled device in any park where necessary for the public safety or public convenience in using parks. This right to regulate shall not apply to a person with a disability who uses wheeled equipment in order to be ambulatory.

(8) Impose more restrictive speed limits on the use of all park paths, trails and walks, whether improved or unimproved, as required for public safety.

(9) Establish a permit system, consistent with law, for activities not requiring a lease or concessionaire agreement, or a special event permit under Chapter 5.50 OHMC but having unique or special effects on the parks, including reserving a room, area or facility in a park, posting notices of signs, any digging or excavating in any park, chaining any property to trees or improvements in the parks, making a use different in kind from the normal use of a park. No permits shall be required of city park employees, or city contractors acting in the scope and course of their duties. Any permits issued under the authority of rules or code of conduct under the authority of this section shall be temporary, and may be revoked at any time by the administrator or the chief of police or their respective designees. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.050 Closing hours for parks.

Unless a different closing hour has been established by a duly approved rule or regulation, all city parks, and all facilities in all city parks shall be closed between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of any day. Park and facility closing hours shall be clearly posted at main entrances to each park and on each park facility. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.060 Vendors and concessionaires in parks.

Subject to activities allowed by the U.S. Constitution or comparable provision of the Washington State Constitution, and subject to activities allowed by either a lease with the city, a concession agreement with the city, or a special event permit issued pursuant to Chapter 5.50 OHMC, no person shall sell, rent, or offer to sell or rent any service or merchandise, including but not limited to any liquid, edible, or other tangible object, in a city park. Vendors and concessionaires in parks shall be authorized to sell or rent consistent with their lease or concession agreement with the city. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.070 Special events under permit.

Where an activity in a park would be a special event under Chapter 5.50 OHMC, a special event permit consistent with that chapter shall be obtained. All activities in city parks under a special event permit shall be conducted strictly in accordance with the terms of the special event permit issued under Chapter 5.50 OHMC. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.080 Sale of beer, wine and/or liquor in city parks.

Except as allowed by this section, there shall be no sale, use or consumption of beer, wine and/or liquor in any city park. The sale, use and consumption of beer, wine and/or liquor may be allowed in city parks under a concession agreement or special event permit subject to the following conditions:

(1) The sale of beer, wine and/or liquor may be allowed in Catalina, Windjammer and Flintstone Parks as part of a special event permit issued under Chapter 5.50 OHMC. The sale of beer, wine and/or liquor may be allowed in other city parks on a case-by-case basis under the following conditions:

(a) That there are no youth athletic activities (soccer, football, baseball) scheduled for the park on that date and time.

(b) That there will be no sale of alcohol within 150 feet of children’s playgrounds.

(2) The sale of beer, wine and/or liquor shall be subject to the conditions of the concession agreement and/or special event permit. (Ord. 1805 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1781 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1719 § 1, 2015).

6.12.090 Reservations for camping in selected parks or park areas.

Camping is prohibited in city parks except at such places designated for camping and designated by signs for camping. Areas for camping may be reserved consistent with rules and regulations adopted under this chapter or as allowed in Chapter 6.13 OHMC. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.095 Park facility reservation system.

(1) City park facilities (including keyed kitchens as well as keyless gazebos and shelters) may be reserved for day use by an individual or group under terms and conditions specified by the administrator.

(2) The fee for reservation for a single day’s use of a facility shall be in the master fee schedule adopted by resolution of the city council. As part of the reservation, the person or group reserving the facility shall assure that the facility is left in as good a condition as it was at the time of beginning occupancy.

(3) Reservations shall usually be first come, first served, provided an individual or group may not be first in line for a facility more than once every six months to assure the widest public use of facilities.

(4) When a keyless facility is not reserved, the facility’s use is available on a first come, first served basis for use by occupants that day without payment of a fee.

(5) The administration may refuse to reserve the facility for certain dates and for events inconsistent with the purposes of the park.

(6) Signs shall be posted noting the reservation and who has reserved for a date certain.

(7) The administrator for this section is the person designated by the mayor to administer this facility reservation system.

(8) A fee per the master fee schedule adopted by resolution of the city council may be assessed to individuals or groups who have reserved a keyed facility and failed to collect the key at the utilities office during business hours, causing an employee to be called out after hours on a work day or on a weekend to unlock the reserved facility.

(9) Oak Harbor police may terminate the use of a facility when its use is part of a public disturbance or is causing a noise violation or there is threatened damage to persons or property.

(10) The mayor may issue such additional regulations as are necessary to implement this system.

(11) The privilege of using a facility shall not be construed as a lease or rental, but simply a license terminable at will by the administrator or his or her designee as he or she determines to be the city’s best interests. (Ord. 1696 § 46, 2014; Ord. 1691 § 1, 2014).

6.12.100 Offenses in parks that are gross misdemeanors.

Each of the following actions or inactions, as the case may be, are unlawful and a gross misdemeanor. Any person convicted of such a crime may be punished by a fine in any sum not to exceed $5,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 364 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(1) It is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally and unreasonably to interfere with any individual or group engaged in lawful use of a park or park facility.

(2) It is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor to willfully mark, mar, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with, displace, remove, burn, cut, carve, dig up or damage any park property or attendant facility, statue, structure, monument, fountain, vase, wall, fence, railing, vehicle, bench, plant, tree, shrub or buried object.

(3) It is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor to urinate or defecate in any place in a park other than in a designated restroom, or where allowed in a port-a-potty or restroom of a recreational vehicle.

(4) Except because of the health condition of the person, it is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor to urinate or defecate on the floor or walls of a public restroom.

(5) Except in lawful self defense or defense of another, or except as part of an authorized activity in the park, it is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor to use or discharge a weapon in a park.

(6) Except for a city employee in the performance of his or her duties, or except for persons given permission by the administrator or chief of police or their designee, it is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor for any person to enter or go upon an area of a park, building or structure in a park which has been designated and posted by the administrator or chief of police or their designee as “no admittance” or “no trespassing” area by signage.

(7) It is unlawful and a gross misdemeanor for any person subject to a valid notice of exclusion to enter or go upon a park contrary to the terms of the notice of exclusion. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.110 Offenses in parks that are misdemeanors.

Each of the following actions or inactions, as the case may be, are unlawful and a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of such a crime may be punished by a fine in any sum not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(1) It is unlawful and a misdemeanor to willfully attach a rope, wire or other contrivance to a tree, plant, shrub or structure in a park.

(2) Except for a city employee in the performance of his or her duties, or except for persons given permission by the administrator or chief of police or their designee, it is unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person to enter or go upon a park or part of a park when the park or the area of the park is closed.

(3) It is unlawful and a misdemeanor to operate any motor vehicle or motorcycle for the purposes of testing it, or ascertaining its fitness for service, along or upon any park drive, parkway or park boulevard in any park.

(4) It is unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person to use tobacco products within 25 feet of the entrance to any park facility or within 25 feet of any athletic facility in a park. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.120 Violations in parks that are infractions.

Each of the following actions or inactions, as the case may be, is a violation and a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC:

(1) It is a violation and a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to block any sidewalk or pathway in a park or adjacent to a park. “Blocking” means standing, sitting, or reclining on a sidewalk by oneself or in concert with others in such a way that more than half of the width of a sidewalk or walkway is blocked for normal use as a sidewalk or walkway.

(2) It is a violation and a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to unreasonably impede access to any restroom or restroom stall in a park. “Unreasonably impede” means impede by their person, or by the placement of personal property in such a fashion that a normal pathway into the restroom, or stalls in a restroom, is not maintained.

(3) Except for a city employee in the performance of his or her duties, or except for persons given permission by the administrator or chief of police or their designee, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to enter, remain in, rest, stand, or sit in any flower bed or landscaped area within a city park. A “landscaped area” shall not include an area where a bench is provided, or an area devoted only to planted lawn.

(4) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to stand or walk or lay down on the table tops of any picnic table or countertop in a kitchen area of a park.

(5) Except for persons given permission by the administrator or chief of police or their designee or concessionaires or lessees consistent with their concession agreement or lease, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to throw, leave, tack, or post any poster, advertisement, or sign advertising for any good, service, meeting of people or otherwise within a city park.

(6) Except in areas allowed for concessionaires or lessees, or for areas under special use permit under Chapter 5.50 OHMC and under OHMC 6.12.080, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to possess an open beer, wine and/or liquor container in a park.

(7) Except in areas allowed for concessionaires or lessees, or for areas under special use permit under Chapter 5.50 OHMC and under OHMC 6.12.080, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to consume beer, wine and/or liquor in a park.

(8) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to dispose of or deposit any refuse or other material in a park, except in designated receptacles.

(9) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to dump or dispose of garbage generated or created outside a park in a receptacle within a park. Wrappings for edibles purchased outside the park, but consumed within a park, shall not be deemed to violate this subsection.

(10) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to chain, lock, connect or store any item of tangible personal property, including but not limited to a bicycle, in any area of a park except for areas designated for such storage for such times as allowed by posted notice.

(11) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to allow or permit any dog or other animal to run at large in any park, or enter any lake, pond, pool, fountain or stream therein, with the exception of areas designated as “off-leash.”

(12) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to allow a dog or animal to defecate in a park and not clean up after the dog or animal and properly dispose of the dog or animal waste.

(13) Except for a service animal, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to allow or permit any dog or other animal in any building in any park.

(14) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to explode any fireworks, firecrackers, torpedo or any explosive of any kind in any park.

(15) For devices not weapons under state law, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to discharge any air gun, paint ball gun, B.B. gun or any other type of gun or rocket (i.e., potato guns and the like) in any park.

(16) Except in conjunction with an activity authorized by the administrator or chief of police or designee, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to shoot any slingshot or bow and arrow in any park.

(17) Except as allowed by properly adopted rules and regulations, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to take up collections as a strolling musician, organ grinder, street performer, or street artist in any park.

(18) Except at places set apart for such purposed use and so designated by signs, or in an emergency, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to have, keep or operate any boat, float, raft or other watercraft in or upon any bay, lake, slough, river or creek within the limits of any park or to land the same at any point upon the shores thereof bordering upon any park.

(19) Except in areas designated for such riding, and then only at speeds less than 15 miles per hour, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to ride or drive any motorcycle, motor vehicle, motorized skateboard, motorized bicycle, motorized scooter, horse or pony over or through any park. This provision is not intended to prohibit the use of motorized mobility devices.

(20) Except in places designated for such use, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to practice or play golf, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, polo, archery, hockey, tennis, badminton, football, soccer or other games of like character or to hurl any airborne or other missile, including the flying of model airplanes or rockets, in any park. Playing catch with any type of ball or playing catch with a Frisbee shall not be deemed to violate this subsection.

(21) Except where permission has been obtained from the administrator or chief of police or designee, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to engage in, conduct or hold any trials or competitions for speed, endurance, or hill climbing involving any vehicles, power boat, aircraft or animal in any park.

(22) It is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to build any fires in any park except in areas designated for such use and posted for such use by appropriate signage.

(23) Except as authorized by a special event permit issued pursuant to Chapter 5.50 OHMC, it is a Class 1 infraction as defined in Chapter 1.28 OHMC to use any public address system, loudspeaker, or other sound amplifying device in any park. (Ord. 1717 § 14, 2015; Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.130 Park exclusion.

The administrator or the chief of police or designee may by delivering an exclusion notice in person to the offender exclude from a city park anyone who within a city park (1) violates any provision within this chapter, (2) violates any park rule or code of conduct properly adopted under OHMC 6.12.040, or (3) violates any other provision of the Oak Harbor Municipal Code or the Revised Code of Washington. The offender need not be charged, tried, or convicted of any crime or infraction in order for an exclusion notice to be issued or effective. The exclusion may be based upon observation or upon reports that would ordinarily be relied upon by police officers in the determination of probable cause.

(1) If the offender:

(a) Has not been excluded from any city park by an exclusion notice issued within one year prior to the violation and the current violation is not a felony or weapon violation, the administrator or chief of police or designee may exclude the offender from the city park in which the current violation occurred for a period not exceeding seven days from the date of the exclusion notice.

(b) Has been the subject of only one prior exclusion notice issued within one year prior to the current violation and neither the current nor the past violation was a felony or weapon violation, then the administrator or chief of police or designee shall exclude the offender from the city park in which the current violation occurred for a period of 90 days from the date of the exclusion notice.

(c) Has been the subject of two or more prior exclusion notices issued within one year prior to the current violation, all from the same city park in which the current violation occurred, or if the current violation is a felony or weapon violation, then the administrator or chief of police or designee shall exclude the offender from the city park in which the current violation occurred for a period of one year from the date of the exclusion notice.

(d) Has been the subject of two prior exclusion notices within one year prior to the current violation and, in combination, the current violation and those prior violations, and those prior violations took place in two or more city parks, then the administrator or chief of police or designee shall exclude the offender from all city parks for a period of one year from the date of the exclusion notice.

(2) The exclusion notice shall be in writing and shall contain the date of issuance. The exclusion notice shall specify the length and places of exclusion. It shall be signed by the issuing individual. Warning of the consequences of failure to comply shall be prominently displayed on the notice.

(3) Only after a hearing may an exclusion notice be shortened or rescinded.

(4) An offender receiving an exclusion notice longer than seven days may seek a hearing before the city administrator to have the exclusion notice rescinded or the period of exclusion shortened. The request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the city clerk, 865 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor WA, 98277, or postmarked no later than 10 days after the issuance date of the exclusion notice. A copy of the exclusion notice shall be included with the request for hearing. The hearing shall occur within 10 days after the request for a hearing is received. The city shall take reasonable steps to notify the offender of the date, time and place of the hearing.

(5) At the hearing, the city must prove the violation by a preponderance of the evidence to uphold the exclusion notice. If the exclusion notice was issued because of the alleged violation of any criminal law, the offender need not be charged, tried or convicted for the exclusion notice to be upheld. The exclusion notice establishes a prima facie case that the offender committed the violation as described. The hearing officer may consider evidence that would not be admissible under the rules of evidence in a court of law, but must consider only relevant and trustworthy evidence.

(6) If the violation is proved, the exclusion notice shall be upheld, but upon good cause shown, the hearing officer may shorten the duration of the exclusion. If the violation is not proved by a preponderance of the evidence, the hearing officer shall rescind the exclusion. If the hearing officer rescinds the exclusion, the exclusion shall not be considered a prior exclusion for purposes of this chapter.

(7) The decision of the hearing officer is final. An offender seeking judicial review of the hearing officer’s decision must file an application for a writ of review in the Island County superior court within 14 days of the date of that decision.

(8) The exclusion shall remain in effect during the pendency of any administrative or judicial proceeding.

(9) No determination of facts made by a person conducting a hearing under this section shall have any collateral estoppel effect on a subsequent criminal prosecution or civil proceeding and shall not preclude litigation of those same facts in a subsequent criminal or civil proceeding.

(10) This section shall be enforced so as to emphasize voluntary compliance with laws and park rules, and so that inadvertent minor violations that would fall under this section can be corrected without resort to an exclusion notice. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.140 Emergency park closing.

(1) The administrator, with the approval of the mayor, may close areas of a park for the purpose of protecting the environment or for the purpose of protecting the public from conditions which constitute a potential hazard to life or physical well-being, or when it is in the interest of the public health, welfare and safety.

(2) The administrator, with the approval of the mayor, may forbid a usually permitted activity when in the interest of public health, welfare or safety.

(3) As a method of controlling vandalism, criminal activity, riot or disorder, the administrator, with the approval of the mayor, may close a park or designated part of a park, or park facility for up to three months’ duration within any calendar year.

(4) The administrator may close buildings in city parks whenever he or she determines the same is for the best interest of the city.

(5) Upon making a decision to complete such a closure or restriction as authorized by this section, the administrator shall make written notice of the closure or restriction to the parks board and the city council setting forth the reasons for the closure or restriction. Such closure or restriction must be noticed by signs clearly demarking the closure or restriction made, the date of the closure or restriction and the duration. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.150 Discrimination prohibited.

No person occupying or using any park for any event, activity or exhibition open to the public, may deny any other person the full use and enjoyment of such park because of race, creed, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, political ideology, age, religion, ancestry, national origin or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical handicap. Any permit issued, in the event of violation of this section, may be canceled. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.160 Reward posting.

The council may offer, post and pay a suitable reward not exceeding $500.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone violating the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).

6.12.170 Severability.

If any part, provision or section of this chapter is held to be void or unconstitutional, all other parts not expressly so held shall continue in full force and effect. (Ord. 1669 § 4, 2013).