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Spokane City Council Approves Parks Ordinances

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Spokane City Council has approved two ordinances aimed at regulating uses within the city’s parks.

In the first ordinance, the council added new rules that govern human activities in the city’s parks and public lands. They include restrictions on unauthorized camping, especially in forested areas and near the river. The camping prohibition does not apply during times when there are no spaces available in city shelters. The measure also prohibits burning outside barbecue pits and fireplaces, the defacing of public trees and disposal of litter on city land. Offenders will be ticketed and sent to community court, not jailed.

The second ordinance changes language in city law to clarify the Park Board’s authority to regulate behavior within the parks. Forbidden activities include flying drones, shooting weapons and fireworks, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Vehicles are to be limited to public paths and with speed limits. Animals are to be controlled and their bodily functions picked up. Fishing is allowed in rivers and creeks, but not in ponds.

The ordinance also increases the number of hours that city parks will be closed each day from five (11 pm to 4 am) to eight, now from 10 pm to 6 am.