Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services
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City Ordinances on Parks & Recreation


Article I. In General, §§ 16-1—16-15
Article II Motorboats § 16-16

*Charter references: Park Department, § 43

Cross references: Administration generally, Ch. 2, amusements, Ch. 3, planning, Ch. 18, Public swimming pools, Ch. 20, fishing on open space lands restricted, § 21-186; subdivision regulations, App. B; zoning regulations, App. C.

State law references: Authority to establish, etc., parks, G.S. §§ 7-148, 7-194(5), (8).


Sec. 16-1 Veterans Memorial Park and Boulevard

(a) The park area between the Pequabuck River and South Street, heretofore given to the city and established as a memorial to Bristol's veterans of all wars, shall continue under the jurisdiction of the Board of Park Commissioners. The highway, which begins at Willis Street and runs through said park shall be known as the Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
(b) The Board of Park Commissioners shall give special care in maintaining said park as a fitting memorial and preserving the rows of memorial oaks which border the boulevard. They shall care for the monuments and statuary now located in the park and which may, with said board's permission, be hereafter located therein.
(c) To preserve the natural and peaceful conditions and the memorial character of the park and boulevard:
(1) There shall be no parking along the curb lines of the boulevard, except on such special areas or occasions as may be designated by the Board of Park Commissioners.
(2) The use of the boulevard by motor vehicles is hereby restricted to vehicles bearing "passenger-type" or school bus registration plates, and operated at such reasonable speeds as shall be established, from time to time, by the Board of Park Commissioners. School buses shall only be permitted to use the boulevard traveling to or from Memorial Boulevard School on the boulevard from Main Street to the school.
(3) No motor vehicles bearing non-passenger type registrations, including trucks and commercial vehicles, including those trucks and commercial vehicles bearing "combination" plates shall pass or travel within said Memorial Park or boulevard, provided that such non-passenger vehicles may continue to use the two (2) cross-over streets known as Mellen Street and East Street. Persons making such use shall be in violation of this section and shall be subject to the penalty for infractions provided in section 1-11 of the Code of General Ordinances. Fine for violation of this section shall be ninety dollars ($90.00).
(d) The Board of Park Commissioners are hereby authorized and directed to provide and maintain suitable signs for the control of traffic on the parkway known as the Memorial Boulevard.

(Ord. of 9-6-83; Ord. of 4-29-94)

Sec. 16-2. Prohibited acts in public parks.

Regulated conduct, activities, substances and acts in public parks.

The following conduct, activities, substances and acts within the public parks of the City shall be regulated as provided herein:

(a) Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances.

(1) The possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage shall be prohibited unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners and confined within those areas specifically designated.

(2) The possession or consumption of any illegal drug or the possession or consumption of any controlled substance for which no authorized prescription has been issued to the person possessing or consuming same shall be prohibited.

(3) No person shall be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug so as to pose a threat to himself or herself, other persons, or property, or to cause behavior that unreasonably disturbs others.

(b) Amplified Sound.

(1) No person shall operate any device designed to produce, reproduce or amplify sound unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated.

(c) Behavior.
(1) Urination and defecation. No person shall urinate or defecate in any park, or in or upon any park building, monument or structure, except in a facility which is specifically designed for such purpose.

(2) Disorderly conduct. No person shall engage in conduct intended to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or to recklessly create a risk thereof; or to engage in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; annoy or interfere with another person; make unreasonable noise; without lawful authority disturb any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or congregate with other persons in a public place and refuse to comply with a reasonable, official request or order to disperse.

(3) Sexual acts. No person shall engage in any sexual act. For the purpose of this section, a sexual act means erotic fondling, nude performance, sexual excitement, sado-masochistic abuse, masturbation or sexual intercourse, which terms further are defined in §53a-193 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

(d) Business activities, soliciting and advertising. Unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners and confined within those areas specifically designated:

(1) Business activities. No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale any goods or services, or conduct business activities.

(2) Solicitation. No person shall solicit monetary or other valuable contributions from others.

(3) Advertising. No person shall post or display any sign, placard, flag or advertising device. Advertisements include, but are not limited to, the distribution or posting of handbills, flyers, coupons, or public announcements. The prohibitions of this section shall not extend to expressive and associational activities protected by the First Amendment to the United State Constitution.

(4) Gambling. No person shall play any game of chance.

(e) Dangerous Devices.

(1) Firearms, fireworks and projectile devices. No person shall possess illegal firearms, and no person, other than a police or security officer, shall carry openly any legal firearm. No person shall possess or discharge a firearm, firecracker, firework, bow, cross-bow, or traditional BB or pellet-firing air gun that expels a metallic or paint-contained projectile through the force of air pressure. This provision shall not apply to the display of fireworks under municipal authority, nor to activities authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated.

(2) Knives. No person shall possess any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length unless it is being used for the purpose of food preparation.

(f) Domestic animals.

(1) Leashes. Unless confined within an area designated specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners for dog runs, no owner or person having control of any dog, shall permit said dog to enter or remain upon any public park unless such dog is constrained by a suitable leash held by the owner or person in control. An owner or person in control of any dog brought upon park property shall at all such times have in his or her possession a suitable receptacle adequate to collect or gather up any excrement produced by said dog. It shall be the affirmative duty and obligation of such owner or person in control to promptly gather up such excrement and remove it from the park property when such owner or person in control of said dog leaves park property or place such excrement in a trash receptacle. In addition to the fine and penalty provided for violation of these ordinances, any dog, if not leashed, shall be subject to seizure and removal to the custody of the animal control officer.

(2) Swimming or bathing No person shall permit any dog or domestic animal(s) whether leashed or unleashed, to swim in, nor shall any person wash or bathe any dog or domestic animal in any pool, lagoon, lake or pond on park property unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated.

(3) Hitching. No person shall hitch or secure any dog or other animal to any shrub, tree, fence, or stake in any park.

(g) Fires. No person shall make any open fire on any park property.

(h) Fishing. No person shall fish while on any park property where fishing is specifically disallowed and posted under the authority of the Board of Park Commissioners.

(i) Motor vehicles and traffic. Unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated:

(1) Speed limit. No person shall ride or drive in any park any cycle, automobile or other vehicle, at a rate of faster than fifteen (15) miles an hour.

(2) Prohibited vehicles. No person shall enter any park, or parkway with any truck, trailer, bus or other commercial vehicle, except for the service of such park property, or part thereof. In addition, no person other than law enforcement, emergency medical, or park personnel in performance of their duties shall ride, drive, park or draw any snowmobiles, go-carts, mini-bikes, dirt bikes or all-terrain vehicles in any parks.

(3) Driving, riding or parking vehicles. No person, unless authorized by the Park Superintendent, shall drive, ride or park any vehicle on any grass or lawn, or in any part of any park, playground or parkway, except regular roadways.

(4) Overnight parking. No person shall park a vehicle in any park overnight.

(5) Maintenance of vehicles. No person shall repair, clean, wax or otherwise maintain a motor vehicle in any park, nor shall anyone discharge or cause to be discharged hazardous substances, including but not limited to, gasoline, antifreeze or motor oil, in any park.

(j) Protection of park property. Unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated:

(1) Encroachments. No person shall in any way alter, damage, remove or deface any facility, feature, vegetation, man-made object or equipment in a park; nor erect or store personal property, plant vegetation or deposit debris or refuse in a park or extend any use on adjacent property to park property.

(2) Excavation. No person shall remove or dig up any dirt, stones, rock or anything whatsoever; make any excavation, quarry any stone, or lay or set off any blast, or cause or assist in doing any of such things, within any park.

(3) Littering. No person shall scatter or leave upon any park, any paper, rag, garbage, unbreakable or breakable bottle or container, or other litter.

(4) Unauthorized areas. No person shall play or practice any game or sport in any park area not suitable for said use.

(5) Unauthorized trails. No person shall create any new trails on park property.

(k) Remote control devices and powered models or toys. Unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated:

(1) No person shall operate hobby rockets, remote control gliders or powered remote control or tethered planes, cars or other like devices in a park.

(l) Rest rooms and locker rooms.

(1) Harassment and intimidation. No person shall loiter in the vicinity of rest rooms, locker rooms, or dressing rooms in a park, nor harass, intimidate or solicit users of such facilities.

(2) Inappropriate behavior. No person shall enter any rest room, locker room or dressing room designated for the opposite sex, with the exception that a child of the opposite sex may accompany his or her parent or guardian, provided the child is six (6) years of age or younger.
(m) Swimming, bathing and wading. Swimming, bathing and wading are prohibited except where designated by the Board of Park Commissioners.

(n) Wildlife and habitat protection. Unless authorized specifically by the Board of Park Commissioners or confined within those areas specifically designated:

(1) Animals. No person shall feed, harass, capture, remove, injure or kill any animal or its young or eggs found in a park, or disturb the nest, den, burrow, lodge, dam or other structure of any animal found in a park.

(2) Removal of plants. No person shall remove or pick from a park any plants, flowers or parts thereof including, but not limited to, cuttings, seeds, berries, nuts or foliage.

(3) Abandonment or release of animals. No person shall abandon, release or cause to be released into a park any animal.

(4) Planting. No person shall plant any plant or release or cause to be released into a park any plant or fungus seeds or spores.

(5) Habitat preservation. No person shall disturb or modify woodlands, streams, stream banks, meadows, ponds, lakes or other natural areas within a park, or walk among or across any flower garden, shrubs or other plantings.

(o) Hours of operation. No person shall enter park property after the closing hour established by the Board of Park Commissioners.

(p) Hunting and trapping. Hunting and trapping of wildlife are prohibited in any park except when expressly permitted in writing as part of a park department controlled activity and with express written consent of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Sec. 16-3. Penalties. Any person violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of an infraction and be penalized ninety dollars ($90.00) as provided for in section 1-11 of this Code.

Secs. [16-3] 16-4 --16-15. Reserved.


Sec. 16-16 Operation Restricted.

No person shall operate a motor-powered boat upon any lake, pond, or waterway within the city:
1. In a reckless manner having regard of the weather conditions, depth, width, traffic and use of such lake, pond or waterway:
2. At such a rate of speed or in such a manner as to endanger the property or life of any person, including the occupant of such motor-powered boat;
3. Before the hour of 6:00 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m. eastern daylight time;
4. Within seventy-five (75) feet of docks, floats, canoes, sailboats, rowboats, or swimmers, except when leaving or returning to shore;
5. Without underwater exhausts or without effectively muffling or silencing by a muffler or similar device excessive noise produced by such motor-powered boat. (code 1960 § 24-2)

*Cross reference – motorboats prohibited on water bodies of open space land §21-181