Chapter 14.08
PARK CODE

Sections:

14.08.010    Title.

14.08.020    Liberal Construction.

14.08.030    Definitions.

14.08.040    Permits Required for Certain Activities.

14.08.050    Permit Administration and General Requirements.

14.08.060    Prohibited Activities.

14.08.070    Animal Control.

14.08.080    Regulation of Campgrounds and Picnic Areas.

14.08.090    Regulation of Vehicles.

14.08.100    Aircraft.

14.08.110    Other Modes of Transportation.

14.08.120    Park Hours.

14.08.130    Violation – Penalty.

14.08.140    Severability.

Cross-reference:    Chapter 36.68 RCW

14.08.010 Title.

This Chapter shall constitute the Park Code of Pierce County and may be cited as such. Conduct in all public parks shall be subject to all the general police regulations of this Code and not exclusively to the provisions of this Chapter. (Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.010)

14.08.020 Liberal Construction.

This Chapter is an exercise of the police power of the State of Washington, and of Pierce County, for the public peace, health, safety and welfare, and its provisions shall be liberally construed. (Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.020)

14.08.030 Definitions.

The terms used in this Chapter, unless clearly contrary to or inconsistent with the context in which used, shall be:

A.    "Aircraft" means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air.

B.    "Animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian.

C.    "Camp" means erecting a tent or shelter or arranging bedding or both, for the purpose of, or in such a way that permits remaining overnight, or parking a trailer, camper, or other vehicle for the purpose of remaining overnight.

D.    "Department" means the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Department.

E.    "Director" means the Director of Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services or designee.

F.    "Facilities" means any equipment, building, structure, roadway, trail, path, or area operated by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Department.

G.    "Fee" means the currently adopted fee schedule for use of by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Department.

H.    "Park" means and includes all parks, squares, drives, community centers, recreation centers, meridians, trails, linear corridors, parkways, boulevards, golf courses, boat-launching ramps, zoos, beaches, playfields, and recreation areas and facilities comprising the parks and recreation system of the County and under the management and control of the Department.

I.    "Permit" means any and all permits, licenses, or approvals required by federal or state law, or required by County Ordinance or the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Department.

J.    "Person" means all natural persons, firms, partnerships, entities, corporations, clubs and all associations or combination of persons whenever acting for themselves or through an agent, servant or employee.

K.    "Sheriff" means and includes the Pierce County Sheriff and deputies and all members of the law enforcement agencies within Pierce County.

L.    "Trail" means:

a.    Any way identified as a "trail" or "path" at paved or graded prepared entrance points; or

b.    Any way that is not marked parking area or highway as defined in Title 46 RCW; or

c.    Any way not of sufficient width or grading to permit its safe use by standard passenger automobiles moving in both directions simultaneously along its entire length.

M.    "Vehicle" means any self-propelled device capable of being moved, and in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn and shall include, but not be limited to, automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, motorscooters, bicycles, sailboards, All Terrain Vehicles, go-carts, jeeps or similar type four-wheel drive vehicles and snowmobiles, whether or not they can be legally operated upon the public highways.

N.    "Watercraft" means any floating device, powered by internal combustion engine, wind or human power, capable of traveling on or under water.

(Ord. 2004-84 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 86-78 § 1 (part), 1986; Ord. 84-131 § 1 (part), 1984; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.030)

14.08.040 Permits Required for Certain Activities.

It shall be unlawful in any park, without first securing a permit from the Director or designee, for any person to:

A.    Use a public address system or other sound amplifying device;

B.    Use, place or erect any signboard, sign, billboard, bulletin board, post, pole or device of any kind for advertising in any park or to attach any notice, bill, poster, sign, wire, rod or card to any tree, shrub, railing, post or structure, or erect a structure of any kind;

C.    Sell refreshments or merchandise or engage in any business or occupation;

D.    Use any park facility for the purpose of having any watercraft for hire;

E.    Launch waterborne craft from any shoreline except from specifically designated areas or with specific permit. The launching of waterborne craft as provided in this Section shall be unlawful if the required fee as determined by Ordinance has not been paid;

F.    Take up collections or to act as or apply the vocation of a solicitor, agent, peddler, beggar, strolling musician, organ grinder, exhorter, barker or showman within a park;

G.    Hold any organized runs, walks, races, trials, or competitions;

H.    Hold any shows, festivals, fund raisers, carnivals, parades, or similar activities;

I.    Skate board, other than in designated areas;

J.    In-Line Skate, other than in designated areas;

K.    Sailboard, other than in designated areas;

L.    Fly aircraft, model aircraft, model rockets, hot air balloons, other than in designated areas;

M.    Parachute;

N.    Hang glide;

O.    Para-sail;

P.    Moor watercraft, other than in designated areas;

Q.    Engage in paint balling or survival games;

R.    Participate in archery, other than in designated areas; or

S.    Engage in disaster drills; or

T.    Operate a motorized foot scooter, or any other unlicensed motorized vehicle other than in designated areas.

If the Director or designee finds that the safety, comfort, and convenience of the public in the use of the parks, or in the use of the area adjacent to the park, would be unduly disturbed, the Director or designee may deny the application, impose restrictions upon the permit or issue a permit for a different date, time, park, or park area to alleviate such disturbance.

The Director or designee may issue a permit for use of the park during hours when the park is closed.

(Ord. 2007-32 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 84-131 § 1 (part), 1984; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.040)

14.08.050 Permit Administration and General Requirements.

A.    Any person who has obtained a permit from the Director or designee must produce and exhibit such permit upon request.

B.    No person under the age of 21 may sign for a reservation or obtain a permit under this Chapter.

C.    The Director or designee reserves the right to cancel a permittee's activity.

D.    All permittees must leave the facility in a condition considered satisfactory to the Director or designee. No group shall conduct activities causing extra custodial work unless previous agreement has been made to pay for such work.

E.    At all assemblies of minors under 18 years of age, responsible adults must be present throughout the entire function.

F.    A person using facilities by reservation or agreement may be required to protect and save Pierce County, its elected and appointed officials and employees while acting within the scope of their duties as such, harmless from and against all claims, demands, and causes of action of any kind or character, including the cost of defense thereof, arising in favor of the persons, employees, or third parties due to personal injuries, death, or damage to property arising out of the premises, or in any way arising out of the acts or omissions of the person and/or their agents, employees, or representatives. Users of any and all park facilities or areas do so at their own risk. Pierce County assumes no liability or responsibility due to accidents or injury through authorized or unauthorized use of Department facilities.

(Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 2.04.050)

14.08.060 Prohibited Activities.

It is unlawful for any person to:

A.    Cut, remove, damage, destroy, mutilate, mark, or deface any turf, tree, plant, shrub, flower, structure, monument, statue, vase, fountain, wall, fence, railing, vehicle, bench, utility system, irrigation system, facilities, or other property in any park;

B.    Leave, deposit, drop or scatter bottles, broken glass, ashes, wastepaper, cans or other rubbish in a park except in a garbage can or other receptacle designated for such purposes;

C.    Deposit any household or commercial garbage, refuse, waste or rubbish which is brought from any private property in any garbage can or other receptacle designated for such purpose located within a park;

D.    Drain or dump refuse or waste from any trailer, camper or vehicle except in designated disposal areas or receptacles;

E.    Pollute or in any way contaminate by dumping or otherwise depositing therein any waste or refuse of any nature, kind or description including human waste or bodily waste in any stream, river, lake or other body of water running in, through or adjacent to any park;

F.    Clean fish or other food or wash any clothing or other articles for personal or household use or any dog or other animal except at designated areas in the park;

G.    Clean or wash any vehicle in any park except in areas specifically designated for that use;

H.    Possess, discharge, set off or cause to be discharged in or into any park, any firecracker, torpedo, rocket, firework, explosive or other substance harmful to the life or safety of persons or property. Legal fireworks as part of a permitted function which are licensed and in compliance with State regulations may be discharged in a manner meeting all safety requirements if authorized by the Director or designee and if handled by a licensed professional;

I.    Discharge across, in or into any park a firearm, air or gas weapon, or any device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal or damaging or destroying any public or private property;

J.    Annoy, bother, molest, insult or offer an affront to any other person within a park;

K.    Play games and conduct general horseplay on crowded swimming beaches. At times, large uncrowded beach areas can safely permit some games. Such games will be permitted only with the consent of the Director or designee;

L.    Practice or play golf, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, polo, archery, hockey, tennis or other games of like character or to hurl or propel any missile except at places set apart for such purposes by the Director or designee;

M.    Possess, display or open and/or consume alcoholic beverages in a park, except that such beverages may be opened, served and consumed at designated locations within the Pierce County Park System by persons who have obtained all requisite permits including, but not limited to, the Washington State Liquor Control Board Banquet permit;

N.    Interfere with any park personnel in the exercise of his or her official duties;

O.    Have open fires or portable units using flammable material, except in designated park areas, fireplace, fire rings, barbeques or grills, or unless approved by the Director or designee;

P.    Blow, spread, or place any nasal or other bodily discharge, or spit, urinate, or defecate on the floors, walls, partitions, furniture, fittings, or any portion of any park or facility, except directly into the particular fixtures provided for that purpose;

Q.    Go out onto ice in or from any Pierce County park, except in areas specifically designated for that purpose. This includes ice on lakes, ponds, wetlands, streams, rivers, and other natural bodies of standing water;

R.    Make any public disturbance noise, or public nuisance noise as defined in Chapter 8.72 Pierce County Code unless such noise is necessary to a permitted activity or function;

S.    Snow sled, snow ski, or snow board in any park except in areas specifically designated for that purpose;

T.    Jump from any bridge or trestle located in a County park.

U.    Knowingly move on a trail other than by human power, horse power, or electronically powered wheelchair. County-owned vehicles and authorized emergency vehicles as defined by RCW 4.04.040 are exempt from this subsection. Movement on the trail for the sole purpose of crossing the trail when such movement is made in the most direct and safe manner possible is exempt from this subsection.

V.    Moor or secure any vessel to the launch ramp docks at Lake Tapps County Park, except while actively parking or retrieving the tow vehicle from the trailer parking lot.

W.    Moor or secure any vessel to a Pierce County owned dock in any manner that impedes the launching or recovering of other vessels.

X.    Moor or secure any vessel to any Pierce County owned dock between the hours of sunset to sunrise, except with the permission of the Executive or designee.

Y.    Jump, dive or swim from the docks at Lake Tapps County Park.

Any vessel moored in violation of subsection V., W. or X. may be subject to immediate removal at the registered owner's expense.

Violations of subsections V., W., X. and Y. of this Section constitute a Class 4 civil infraction under Chapter 1.16 PCC.

(Ord. 2010-69 § 1, 2010; Ord. 2007-32 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 2004-84 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 86-78 § 1 (part), 1986; Res. 19394 § 1; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.060)

14.08.070 Animal Control.

A.    Animals are permitted in any Pierce County park if the animals are kept on a leash no longer than eight feet, or confined, and under control at all times.

B.    It is unlawful for a person to fail to have in his/her possession the equipment necessary to remove his/her animal's fecal matter, when accompanied by an animal in any park.

C.    Any person with an animal in his or her possession or control in any park shall be responsible for the conduct of the animal and for removing from the park grounds feces deposited by such animal.

D.    Dogs, pets or domestic animals are not permitted on any designated swimming beach in any park, on any County golf course, or in any public building unless authorized by the Director or designee; provided, that this Section shall not apply to guide or Service dogs.

E.    No person shall allow an animal in his or her possession or control to bite or in any way molest or unreasonably annoy other park visitors. The owner or other person having control of any dog or other animal that bites or causes injury to a human or domestic animal which is acting in a lawful manner is in violation of PCC 6.03.070.

F.    No person shall allow an animal in his or her possession or control to bark continuously or otherwise unreasonably disturb the peace or tranquility of the park.

G.    No horses shall be permitted in any park except where designated and posted to specifically permit such activity. Horses shall not be permitted on any designated swimming area, campground or picnic area. This regulation may be waived by the Director or designee for special events conducted by organized groups.

H.    No person shall ride any horse or other animal in such a manner that might endanger life or limb of any person or animal, and no person shall allow a horse or other animal to stand unattended or insecurely tied.

I.    No person shall in any manner tease, annoy, disturb, molest, catch, injure or kill, or throw any stone or missile of any kind at or strike with any stick or weapon any animal, bird or fowl; or catch any fish or feed any fowl or animal except at places and times designated for such purposes by the Director or designee and so posted by signs. No person shall give, offer or attempt to give to any animal or bird within the park any tobacco, drink or other article known to be noxious to animals or birds.

J.    Owners of dogs or other animals that damage or destroy park property will be held liable for the full value of the property damaged or destroyed in addition to impounding fees and the penalty imposed for violation of these provisions.

K.    All laws, rules and regulations of the State of Washington relating to season limits and methods of fishing are applicable to fishing or gamefish in all Pierce County parks. No person may fish for or possess any fish taken from any dam, dike, bridge, dock, boat landing or beach which is posted with a sign prohibiting fishing.

L.    All laws, rules and regulations of the State of Washington relating to season limits and methods of taking are applicable to the taking of shellfish or food fish in parks except that in addition to such laws, the Director or designee may, upon finding good cause, close certain park areas for specific periods of time to the taking of shell fish. Such closed areas shall be posted with appropriate signs.

(Ord. 99-17 § 8, 1999; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 86-78 § 1 (part), 1986; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.070)

14.08.080 Regulation of Campgrounds and Picnic Areas.

A.    Picnicking is permitted only in designated and marked picnicking areas or in such other places within a park as may from time to time be designated by the Director or designee.

B.    No person shall camp in any park except in areas specifically designated and/or marked for that purpose.

C.    In order to afford the general public the greatest possible use of the parks on a fair and equal basis, continuous occupancy of camping facilities shall be limited to seven days. Shorter limitation of occupancy may be established and posted by the Director or designee at any individual facility or area.

D.    The number of vehicles occupying camping facilities shall be limited to one car or one camper or one vehicle with trailer per camp or trailer site. A greater number may be authorized by the Director or designee.

E.    Fees for the use of camp or trailer sites are due and payable daily. The daily fee covers use of facilities until the vacating time of 3 p.m. of the following day.

F.    Occupants shall vacate camping facilities by removing their personal property therefrom prior to 3 p.m. if the applicable use fee has not been paid or if time limit for occupancy of the campsite has expired. The occupants may, however, remain in other areas of the park for purposes other than camping until normal closing time of the park. Failure to vacate upon expiration of the time limit for occupancy shall subject the occupant to the payment of additional use fees.

G.    A trailer site, picnic area or campsite is considered occupied when it is being used for appropriate purposes by a person or persons who have paid the daily use fee when applicable. No person shall take or attempt to take possession of a campsite, trailer site, picnic area or other park facility when it is being occupied by another party or when informed by the Director or designee that such campsite, picnic area, trailer site or other facility is reserved and/or occupied.

(Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.080)

14.08.090 Regulation of Vehicles.

A.    Parking. No operator of any vehicle, trailer, camper, or watercraft trailer shall enter any park with such vehicle, trailer, camper or watercraft trailer or park such vehicle, trailer, camper, or watercraft trailer in any park unless required parking fees have been paid and the operator is using the area for an authorized designated recreational purpose. It is unlawful to park any vehicle, trailer, camper, or watercraft trailer in any area of a park not designated for parking, or in violation of signs or pavement markings, or where prohibited by signs or pavement markings, except with the permission of the Director or designee. No person shall park, leave standing or abandon a vehicle, trailer, camper, or watercraft trailer in any park after closing time except when camping in a designated area or with permission from the Director or designee. Any vehicle, trailer, camper, or watercraft trailer found parked in violation of this Section may be cited and/or towed away at the owner's or operator's expense.

B.    Operation. No person shall operate any vehicle in any park unless such facility has been specifically designated and posted for such use. Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, no person shall operate a vehicle within the boundaries of a park except on roads, streets, highways, parking lots or parking areas; provided, that traveling upon such roads, streets, highways, parking lots or parking areas has not been prohibited by proper posting.

C.    Speed. No person shall drive a vehicle within any park at a speed greater than 10 mph unless otherwise posted, having due regard for the traffic and the surface and width of the travel way, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons, property or wildlife.

D.    It is unlawful to enter or leave a park by other than established entrances and exits.

E.    The washing and servicing of vehicles within a park is prohibited, including oil changes, other than emergency repairs.

F.    It is unlawful to engage in, conduct, or hold any trials or competitions for speed, endurance, or hill climbing involving any vehicle without a permit as provided in PCC 14.08.040.

G.    Except where specifically amended by this Chapter, all vehicle regulations contained in the Pierce County Code or the Revised Code of Washington shall apply to all roads, highways, parking lots, or parking areas within Pierce County Parks.

H.    Violations of subsections A. through E. of this Section constitute a Class 4 civil infraction under Chapter 1.16 PCC.

(Ord. 2007-32 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 84-131 § 1 (part), 1984; Res. 19948 § 1, Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.090)

14.08.100 Aircraft.

A.    No aircraft shall land or take off from any body of water or land area in a park not specifically designated for landing aircraft.

B.    Model aircraft and rockets:

1.    No one shall fly rockets or model aircraft in any park except in areas specifically designated and/or posted for that purpose. Pursuant to PCC 14.08.040, a permit must be obtained to engage in this activity.

2.    All engines over .25 CI used in model aircraft being flown in designated park areas shall be muffled.

3.    All persons flying model aircraft in designated park areas shall abide by the official American Model Academy (AMA) safety code.

C.    No person shall fly or land hot air balloons in any Pierce County park unless authorized to do so by the Director or designee.

(Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 84-131 § 1 (part), 1984; Res. 19948 § 1, Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.090)

14.08.110 Other Modes of Transportation.

Skateboards, in-line skates and sail boards are prohibited in County parks except in designated areas or as specifically permitted under PCC 14.08.040. (Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997)

14.08.120 Park Hours.

In parks which are controlled by gates or other devices, normal park hours are as posted. Except in the case of prearranged, special group activities or regularly established concessions authorized by the Director or designee, no person shall remain in or enter a Pierce County park after posted park hours. In other areas, no person shall be present nor shall vehicles be allowed to remain parked in park facilities one half hour after legal sunset without a permit. (Ord. 2007-32 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.100)

14.08.130 Violation – Penalty.

Unless specifically designated as a civil infraction, every person who violates any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or by both such a fine and imprisonment. In addition, every person failing to comply with any provision of the Pierce County Code or the Revised Code of Washington while in a Pierce County park, shall be subject to immediate ejection from the Pierce County park area. The Director or designee and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department are authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of this Chapter. (Ord. 2007-32 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Res. 18122 § 1; prior Code § 12.04.120)

14.08.140 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 97-95 § 1 (part), 1997; Ord. 89-155 § 22, 1989)