Chapter 12.24


12.24.010    Definitions.

12.24.020    Park property.

12.24.030    Sanitation.

12.24.040    Traffic.

12.24.050    Recreational activities.

12.24.060    Behavior.

12.24.070    Merchandising, advertising and signs.

12.24.080    Park operating policy.

12.24.090    Enforcement.

12.24.100    Violation—Penalty.

12.24.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word “shall” is always mandatory and not merely directory.

“Commission” means the park and recreation commission of the city.

“Director” means the park and recreation director of the city or a person immediately in charge of any park area and its activities and to whom all park attendants of such area are responsible.

“Park” means a park, reservation, playground, recreation center or any other area in the city, owned or used by the city, and devoted to active or passive recreation.

“Vehicle” means any wheeled conveyance, whether motor powered, animal-drawn or self-propelled. The term shall include any trailer in tow of any size, kind or description. Exception is made for baby carriages and vehicles in the service of the city parks. (Ord. 2549-19 § 1, 2019; Ord. 2390-14 § 1, 2014; prior code § 19.01)

12.24.020 Park property.

No person in a park shall do the following:

A.    Buildings and Other Property.

1.    Disfiguration and Removal. Wilfully mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with or displace or remove any building, 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 park property or appurtenances whatsoever, either real or personal.

2.    Restrooms and Washrooms. Fail to cooperate in maintaining restrooms and washrooms in a neat and sanitary condition.

3.    Removal of Natural Resources. Dig or remove any soil, rock, stones, trees, shrubs or plants, down timber or other wood or materials, or make any excavation by tool, equipment, blasting or other means or agency.

4.    Erection of Structures. Construct or erect any building or structure of whatever 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 hereunder.

B.    Trees, Shrubbery, Lawns.

1.    Injury and Removal. 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 areas or in any way injure or impair the natural beauty or usefulness of any area.

2.    Climbing Trees. Climb any tree or walk, stand or sit upon monuments, vases, fountains, railing, fences or upon any other property not designated or customarily used for such purposes.

C.    Wild Animals, Birds.

1.    Hunting. Hunt, molest, harm, frighten, kill, trap, chase, tease, shoot or throw missiles at any animal, reptile or bird; nor shall he remove or have in his possession the young of any wild animal or the eggs or nest or young of any reptile or bird; nor shall he collect, remove, have in his 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 in that snakes known to be deadly poisonous such as rattle snakes or other deadly reptiles may be killed on sight. This provision does not include supervised and managed programs for wild animal control authorized by the commission.

2.    Feeding. Give or offer, or attempt to give to any animal or bird any tobacco, alcohol or other known noxious substance. (Ord. 2036-05 § 1, 2005; prior code § 19.02)

12.24.030 Sanitation.

No person in a park shall do the following.

A.    Pollution of Waters. Throw, discharge or otherwise place or cause to be placed in the waters of any fountain, pond, stream or other body of water in or adjacent to any park 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.

B.    Refuse and Trash. Bring in or dump, deposit or leave any bottles, broken glass, ashes, paper, boxes, cans, dirt, rubbish, waste, garbage or refuse, or other trash. No such refuse or trash shall be placed in any waters in or contiguous to any park or left anywhere on the grounds thereof, but shall be placed in the proper receptacles where these are provided. Where receptacles are not so provided, all such rubbish or waste shall be carried away from the park by the person responsible for its presence and properly disposed of elsewhere. (Prior code § 19.03)

12.24.040 Traffic.

No person in a park shall do the following.

A.    State Motor Vehicle Laws Apply. Fail to comply with all applicable provisions of the State Motor Vehicle Department traffic laws in regard to equipment and operation of vehicles together with such regulations as are contained in this code and other ordinances.

B.    Enforcement of Traffic Regulations. Fail to obey all traffic officers and park employees, such persons being authorized and instructed to direct traffic whenever and wherever needed in the parks and on the highways, streets or roads immediately adjacent thereto in accordance with the provisions of these regulations and such supplementary regulations as may be issued subsequently by the commission.

C.    Obey Traffic Signs. Fail to observe carefully all traffic signs indicating speed, direction, caution, stopping or parking and all others posted for proper control and to safeguard life and property.

D.    Speed of Vehicles Regulated. Ride or drive a vehicle at a rate of speed exceeding fifteen (15) miles per hour, except upon such roads as the director may designate, by posted signs, for speedier travel.

E.    Operation Confined to Roads. Drive any vehicle on any area except the paved park roads or parking areas or such other areas as may, on occasion, be specifically designated as temporary parking areas by the commission.

F.    Parking.

1.    Designated Areas. Park a vehicle in other than an established or designated parking area and such use shall be in accordance with the posted directions thereat and with the instructions of any attendant who may be present.

2.    Roads and Driveways. Park on a road or driveway in violation of posted regulations of the commission. No stopping or parking is permitted even briefly on the left-hand side of any road or driveway.

3.    Immovable Vehicles. Leave any vehicle anywhere in the park with one or more wheels chained or with motor set in gear and doors locked or in any manner fixed or arranged so that such vehicle cannot readily be moved by hand.

4.    Night Parking. Leave a vehicle standing or parked at night without lights clearly visible for at least one hundred (100) feet from both front and rear on any driveway or road area except legally established parking areas.

5.    Emergency Procedure. Fail to immediately notify an attendant of an emergency in the nature of a breakdown requiring the assistance of a tow truck, mechanic or other person.

6.    Double Parking. Double park any vehicle on any road or parkway unless directed by a park official.

7.    Muffler Required. Fail to use a muffler adequate to deaden the sound of the engine in a motor vehicle.

G.    Bicycles.

1.    Where Operation Prohibited. Ride a bicycle in the tot lot or on ball diamonds or in designated picnic areas.

2.    Operation. Ride a bicycle other than on the right-hand side of the road paving as close as conditions permit and bicycles shall be kept in single file when two or more are operating as a group. Bicyclists shall at all times operate their machines with reasonable regard to the safety of others, signal all turns, pass to the right of any vehicle they are overtaking and pass to the right of any vehicles they may be meeting.

3.    Rider Prohibited. Ride any other person on a bicycle.

4.    Night Operation. Ride a bicycle on any road between thirty (30) minutes after sunset or before fifteen (15) minutes before sunrise without an attached headlight plainly visible at least five hundred (500) feet in front of and without a red tail light or red reflector plainly visible from at least five hundred (500) feet from the rear of such bicycle.

H.    Snowmobiles. “Snowmobile” has the meaning designated in Section 340.01(58a), Wisconsin Statutes. No person shall operate a snowmobile in a city park:

1.    Contrary to Sections 350.01 to 350.11, Wisconsin Statutes;

2.    Which is not licensed by the park director. The license fee shall be three dollars ($3.00) for a winter season;

3.    Outside of trails or areas established by the commission;

4.    At times prohibited by the commission;

5.    Contrary to rules and regulations established by the commission. (Prior code § 19.04)

12.24.050 Recreational activities.

No person in a park shall do the following.

A.    Bathing and Swimming.

1.    Designated Areas. Swim, bath or wade in any waters or waterways in or adjacent to any park, except in such waters and at such places as are provided therefor and in compliance with such regulations as are herein set forth or may be hereafter adopted. Nor shall any person frequent any waters or places customarily designated for the purpose of swimming or bathing, or congregate thereat when such activity is prohibited by the commission upon a finding that such use of the water would be dangerous or otherwise inadvisable.

2.    Certain Hours. Frequent any waters or places designated for the purpose of swimming or bathing, or congregate thereat, except between such hours of the day as shall be designated by the commission for such purposes for each individual area.

3.    Costume. Allow himself to be so covered with a bathing suit as to indecently expose his person.

4.    Bathhouses. Dress or undress on any beach or in any vehicle, toilet or other place, except in such bathing houses or structures as may be provided for that purpose.

B.    Fishing. Fish in any waters whether by the use of hook and line, net, trap or other device, except in waters designated by the commission for that use and under such regulations and restrictions as have been or may be prescribed by the director.

C.    Hunting and Firearms. Hunt, trap or pursue wildlife at any time. No person shall discharge firearms of any description or air rifles, spring guns, bows and arrows, crossbows, slings or any other forms of weapons potentially inimical to wildlife and dangerous to human safety, or maintain or set any kind of trapping device. This subsection shall not apply to any deer or animal control program duly authorized by the common council. This subsection shall not apply to the discharge or use of any bow and arrow in designated areas of city parks.

D.    Picnic Areas and Use.

1.    Regulated. Picnic or lunch in a place other than those designated for that purpose. Attendants may regulate the activities in such areas when necessary to prevent congestion and to secure the maximum use for the comfort and convenience of all. Visitors shall comply with any directions given to achieve this end.

2.    Availability. Violate the regulations on the use of individual fireplaces together with tables and benches. The director may issue permits for the use of picnic areas which shall be picked up at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to their intended use. The permit holder shall have priority over all other users for the area and facilities specified in the permit. In the absence of a permit, the use of picnic areas and facilities shall follow the rule, “First come, first served.”

3.    Nonexclusive. Except as authorized by permit, use any portion of the picnic areas or of any of the buildings or structures therein for the purposes of holding picnics to the exclusion of other persons nor shall any person use such area and facilities for an unreasonable time if the facilities are crowded.

4.    Duty of Picnicker. 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, refuse and trash shall be carried away from the park area by the picnicker to be properly disposed of elsewhere.

E.    Camping. Camp in the parks.

F.    Games. Take part in or abet the playing of any games involving thrown or otherwise propelled objects such as balls, stones, arrows, or javelins except in areas set apart for such forms of recreation. The playing of rough or comparatively dangerous games such as football and baseball is prohibited except on the fields and courts or areas provided therefor.

G.    Horseback Riding. Ride a horse in the parks. (Ord. 2549-19 § 2, 2019; Ord. 2390-14 § 2, 2014; Ord. 2359-14 § 4, 2014; Ord. 2264-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1891 § 3, 2002; Ord. 1843 § 2, 2001; prior code § 19.05)

12.24.060 Behavior.

No person in a park shall do the following.

A.    Intoxicating Beverages.

1.    General Prohibition. Bring or drink intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages at any time in the park.

2.    Exception. Fermented malt beverages may be consumed by persons of legal drinking age if purchased from a concession stand licensed by the council or if brought and consumed under a picnic permit issued by the park and recreation commission and a Class B temporary (picnic) license under 125.26(6), Wisconsin Statutes issued by the common council. All Class B temporary (picnic) licenses for fermented malt beverages or wine dispensed with charge, must be approved by the common council or designated official.

The park and recreation commission may approve a temporary permit for fermented malt beverages in conjunction with a picnic permit as long as the fermented malt beverages are dispensed without charge. See Section 5.24.040. All Class B temporary (picnic) licenses for fermented malt beverages dispensed with charge, must be approved by the common council. The park and recreation commission may approve a temporary permit for intoxicating liquor in conjunction with a picnic permit for the Mitchell Park Pavilion as long as the intoxicating liquor is dispensed without charge.

This prohibition shall not apply to the possession and consumption of fermented malt beverages and wine at specific community functions or events authorized by the park and recreation commission.

3.    Underage Persons. No underage persons not accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse of legal drinking age shall bring or be served or drink any intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages in any park at any time.

4.    The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts leasehold when alcoholic beverages are sold, possessed, or consumed by persons as the result of an alcohol beverage license being issued to the center.

B.    Fireworks and Explosives. Bring or have in his possession or set off or otherwise cause to explode or discharge or burn any explosives or any fireworks prohibited in Chapter 8.20.

C.    Domestic Animals.

1.    Be responsible for the entry of a dog or other domestic animal into areas other than automobile parking concourses and walks immediately adjacent thereto and in such other areas as may be clearly marked by signs bearing the words “Domestic Animals Permitted in This Area.” Nothing herein shall be construed as permitting the running of dogs at large. All dogs in those areas where such animals are permitted shall be restrained at all times on adequate leashes not greater than ten feet in length.

2.    In addition, all dogs except puppies, aggressive dogs, and female dogs in heat, may be off leash while inside the Mitchell Park East Dog Exercise Area if they are at all times under owner supervision and voice command.

D.    Reservation of Facilities. Occupy any park structure or section thereof which may be reserved and designated by the commission for the use of the opposite sex. Exception is made for children under three years of age.

E.    Dress. Appear at any place in other than proper clothing.

F.    Alms. Solicit alms or contributions for any purpose, whether public or private.

G.    Fires. Build or attempt to build a fire except in such areas and under such regulations as may be designated by the commission. No person shall drop, throw or otherwise scatter lighted matches, burning cigarettes or cigars, tobacco paper or other inflammable material within any park area or on any highway, road or street abutting or contiguous thereto.

H.    Closed Areas. Enter 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.

I.    Games of Chance. Gamble or participate in or abet any gambling.

J.    Going Onto Ice. Go onto the ice on any of the waters except such areas as are designated as skating fields, and provided a safety signal is displayed.

K.    Loitering and Boisterousness. Sleep or protractedly lounge on the seats or benches or other areas or engage in loud, boisterous, threatening, abusive, insulting or indecent language or engage in any disorderly conduct or behavior tending to a breach of the public peace.

L.    Exhibit Permits. Fail to produce and exhibit any permit from the commission or the director he claims to have upon request of any authorized person who shall desire to inspect the same for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any ordinance or rule.

M.    Interference With Permittees. Disturb or interfere unreasonably with any person or party occupying any area or participating in any activity under the authority of a permit. (Ord. 1911-03 § 2, 2003; Ord. 1810 § 2, 2001; Ord. 1620 § 1, 1997; Ord. 1534 § 1, 1995; prior code § 19.06)

12.24.070 Merchandising, advertising and signs.

No person in a park shall do the following.

A.    Vending and Peddling. Expose or offer for sale any article or thing nor shall he station or place any stand, cart or vehicle for the transportation, sale or display of any such article or thing. Exception is here made as to any regularly licensed concessionaire acting by and under the authority and regulation of the commission.

B.    Advertising. Announce, advertise or call the public attention in any way to any article or service for sale or hire.

C.    Signs. 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 or highways or roads adjacent to a park. (Prior code § 19.07)

12.24.080 Park operating policy.

A.    Hours. Except for unusual and unforeseen emergencies, parks shall be open to the public every day of the year during designated hours. The opening and closing hours for each individual park shall be posted therein for public information. No one shall enter or be in a park during the hours when closed.

B.    Closed Areas. Any section or part of any park may be declared closed to the public by the commission at any time for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular and stated intervals, daily or otherwise, and either entirely or merely to certain uses, as the commission shall find reasonably necessary.

C.    Lost and Found Articles. The finding of lost articles by park attendants shall be reported to the director who shall make every reasonable effort to find articles reported as lost.

D.    Permit. A permit shall be obtained from the director in order to reserve any park facility.

1.    Application. A person seeking issuance of a permit hereunder shall file an application with the director. The application shall state the following:

a.    The name and address of the applicant;

b.    The name and address of the person, persons, corporation or association sponsoring the activity, if any;

c.    The day and hours for which the permit is desired;

d.    The park or portion thereof for which such permit is desired;

e.    An estimate of the anticipated attendance;

f.    Any other information which the director shall find reasonably necessary to a fair determination as to whether a permit should issue hereunder.

2.    Standards for Issuance. The director shall issue a permit hereunder in accordance with the regulations of the commission and when he finds:

a.    That the proposed activity or use of the park will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the general public enjoyment of the park;

b.    That the proposed activity and use will not unreasonably interfere with or detract from the promotion of public health, welfare, safety and recreation;

c.    That the proposed activity or use is not unreasonably anticipated to incite violence, crime or disorderly conduct;

d.    That the proposed activity will not entail unusual, extraordinary or burdensome expense or police operation by the city;

e.    That the facilities desired have not been reserved for other use at the day and hour required in the application.

3.    Effect of Permit. A permittee shall be bound by all park rules and regulations and all applicable ordinances fully as though the same were inserted in the permits.

4.    Liability of Permittee. A person or persons to whom a permit is issued shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury sustained by any person by reason of negligence of the person or persons to whom such permit shall have been issued.

5.    Revocation. The director may revoke a permit upon a finding of violation of any rule or ordinance or upon good cause shown. (Prior code § 19.08)

12.24.090 Enforcement.

A.    Officials. The police department, the director and park attendants shall, in connection with their duties imposed by law, diligently enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Ejectment. The police department may eject from the park any person acting in violation of this chapter. (Prior code § 19.09)

12.24.100 Violation—Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any part of this chapter or any order, rule or regulation made hereunder shall be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1.12. (Prior code § 19.10)