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ABOUT US | NEWSROOM | LIVING IN DEKALB | DOING BUSINESS WITH DEKALB | VISITING DEKALB
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  Park Rules
Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs
 
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layout graphic DeKalb County > Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs > Park Rules
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Rules & Ordinances

The park rules have been created to allow park visitors a safe and enjoyable experience.  Please take time to read and follow the rules.  Violations could result in fines.

Time:

Parks and recreation facilities shall open at 7:00 a.m., and shall close at sunset, except that parks containing lighting for night use shall close at 11:00 p.m.  Only those areas of park and recreation facilities which are illuminated and in use at night shall be interpreted as being open.  All other portions of the facilities if not illuminated are considered to be closed.  Applicable closing signs shall be conspicuously posted at all park and recreation facilities and any deviation from these times must be approved in writing by the county.
[County Code 19-26]


Animals:

Duty to restrain while off owner's property -
It shall be the duty of any person to keep an animal under restraint and control at all times while the animal is off the real property limits of the owner.  Such areas shall not include county parks that are specifically designated as off leash areas.
[County Code 5-4]

Animals at large -
It shall be unlawful for the owner of an animal to allow it to run at large unattended on or about the streets, right of ways, and highways of unincorporated DeKalb County; in any DeKalb County park, except in county parks that are specifically designated as off leash areas; unattended on or about the common property of any apartment complex or condominium community; or on the property of another person without permission of the owner of that property.  This section shall not apply to dogs being used for hunting in accordance with state law, rules and regulations.
[County Code 5-5]

Animals in parks and swimming areas -
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person in charge of an animal to bring said animal onto county-owned or county-operated athletic fields.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to ride, graze or walk a horse or any other type of hoofed animal within county parks without obtaining written authorization from the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs Director or designee.  This subsection shall not prohibit riding, grazing or walking horses in county property designated as horse farms or in county parks or recreational areas with county signage specifically allowing the riding, grazing or walking of horses.  No person shall ride a horse on county property in a manner that endangers other persons.
(c) Animals are prohibited in county swimming areas, the areas inside fencing around pools, and in concession and restroom facilities at swimming pools.
(d) This section does not prohibit persons with disabilities from bringing guide animals into any such areas or into any county park or area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
[County Code 19-31]

Native wildlife -
It shall be unlawful to remove or disturb any living or dead native creatures in county parks, including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, or the parts or progeny thereof, such as nests, eggs, or antlers.
[County Code 19-43]


Natural Resources:

Vegetation--Damage or removal -
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to dig up, cut, damage or remove any tree, tree limb, shrubbery, flowers, rock, mulch or other vegetation/natural fixture located in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
(b) This section shall not apply to personnel employed or engaged by the county to maintain county parks and recreational areas or an authorized group of volunteers involved in a county-approved project for the enhancement of a park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
[County Code 19-40]

Artifact or treasure hunting -
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to search any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes for historic artifacts or for the purpose of locating lost or abandoned personal property of another, unless such person specifically is authorized by the owner of that personal property to make such search on the owner's behalf.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to remove any historic artifacts or lost or abandoned personal property of another from any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes unless such person specifically is authorized by the owner of that personal property to recover such personal property on the owner's behalf.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to dig in or otherwise disturb the ground in a park or other area owned by the county for recreational purposes, except under the circumstances permitted in subsection 19-40(b) above.
(d) This section does not prohibit a person from visually searching for and reclaiming his/her own lost property in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes, either by himself/herself or by someone specifically authorized by the owner of the lost personal property to act on his/her behalf.
(e) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply to law enforcement personnel engaged in the lawful execution of their duties or to persons employed or engaged by the county when performing their duties in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
[County Code 19-41]

Littering on public and private property -
(a) Definitions:
  (1) Litter means all sand, gravel, slag, brickbats, rubbish, waste material, tin cans, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals or discarded materials of every kind and description.
  (2) Public or private property means the right-of-way of any road or highway; any body of water or watercourse or the shores or beaches thereof; any park, playground, building, refuge, or conservation or recreation area; and residential, commercial, governmental, farm properties, timberlands or forests.
(b) Prohibitions: It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to dump, deposit, throw, or leave or to cause or permit the dumping, depositing, placing, throwing, or leaving of litter on any public or private property or waters in the unincorporated area of the county, unless:
  (1) The property is designated by the county for the disposal of litter and the person is authorized by the proper public authority to use such property;
  (2) The litter is placed into a litter receptacle or container installed on such property; or
  (3) The person is the owner or tenant in lawful possession of such property or has first obtained consent of the owner or tenant in lawful possession or unless the act is done under the personal direction of the owner or tenant, all in a manner consistent with the public welfare.
[County Code 16-29]

Special prohibitions -
(a) Paint. It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to possess paint, in any form, in or on any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreation purposes.
(c) Bicycles on athletic fields. No person shall ride or walk a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle in or on any athletic field owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.  This section does not prohibit persons with disabilities from using a wheelchair as defined in section 19-28 as an auxiliary aid on such fields.
(d) Bicycles on park trails and paths.
  (1) No person shall ride, carry, push or otherwise manually transport a one-, two- or three-wheeled cycle on or through any trails owned or operated by the county and designed solely for pedestrian use.
  (2) This subsection does not prohibit the use of such cycles on trails or paths specifically designated for bicycling or multi-uses that include cycling.  No person shall operate a one-, two- or three-wheeled cycle or a trailer attached to a cycle on trails specifically designated for bicycling or multi-uses that include cycling, if the width of the trailer or cycle exceeds 36 inches as measured from the outer rim of the back tires.
  (3) This section does not prohibit persons with disabilities from using a wheelchair as defined in section 19-28 as an auxiliary aid on county-owned or county-operated trails and paths.
[County Code 19-32]


Vehicles:

Motor vehicles in parks -
(a) A motorized vehicle means a self-propelled, wheeled conveyance that does not run on rails.  A motorized vehicle shall not include a wheelchair used by a person with disabilities as an auxiliary aid.  A wheelchair means a device designed solely for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area.
(b) No person shall operate a motorized vehicle of any kind or nature in or on any county park, bicycle path, or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.  This section does not prohibit persons with disabilities from using a wheelchair as an auxiliary aid in or on any county park, bicycle path, or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
(c) This section does not prohibit the use of motorized vehicles for maintenance purposes, golf carts operated on prescribed paths, or motorized vehicles using marked roads, driveways or parking areas.
[County Code 19-28]

Use of parking facilities on county property -
Parking facilities on county property designated for this use by the chief executive shall be used only in accordance with regulations for this use established by the chief executive.  The chief executive may designate certain spaces or areas as reserved for all elected officials, designated administrative officials whose position responsibilities require the provision of a reserved parking space for efficiently discharging those responsibilities and for other general purposes such as court and visitor parking.  Occupancy of these reserved spaces or areas by other than those individuals assigned to use the spaces or areas shall be deemed a violation of this section.  The public works department shall be responsible for posting of signs to ensure effective notice to parking facility users as to the regulations governing and limitations on the use thereof.  It shall be unlawful to park any private vehicle in any county parking facility for a period of more than twelve (12) hours in any one (1) day or to park a commercial or freight-carrying vehicle or trailer in these lots except by written permission of the chief executive.
[County Code 17-151]


Safety Issues:

Using parks for golf practice, putting greens, driving ranges -
No person shall use any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreation purposes as a field for golf practice, putting green or driving range, except those areas specifically designated as golf clubs.
[County Code 19-27]

Special prohibitions -
(b) Glass containers. No person shall possess a glass container in or on any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreation purposes.
[County Code 19-32]

Weapons -
(a) Weapons include, but are not limited to, knives; air guns; paintball guns; archery equipment; explosives; fireworks; slingshots; fishing spears; any device designed to launch a projectile by physical strength, compressed gas/compressed air or a fuel source; and other devices designed for the purpose of offense or defense.  The term "weapon," as used in this section, does not include firearms as defined in O.C.G.A. 16-11-171, and as it hereafter may be amended.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person other than law enforcement officers to shoot, use, carry, or employ any weapon or similar device in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person other than law enforcement officers to discharge any firearm in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
(d) The director of the parks department or his/her designee may issue a permit for a time-limited use of weapons other than firearms, and the permit shall set forth specific conditions for use and handling of such weapons.
(e) This section shall not prohibit the customary and ordinary use of the county firing range during normal operating hours.
[County Code 19-36]

Fires -
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to build or maintain a fire in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes except in designated areas clearly marked by signs or defined by the existence of county-approved fire rings.
(b) Permanently mounted grills may be used and personal grills may be used in designated authorized areas.
(c) Camp fires may be allowed with written authorization from the director of the parks department or his/her designee for organized groups allowed in any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes after closing time.  The written authorization must be on site with the event organizer or his/her designee and available for inspection at the time of the camp fire.
[County Code 19-37]

Swimming -
(b) Swimming is prohibited in lakes, ponds, or creeks located inside any park or other area owned or operated by the county for recreational purposes.
[County Code 19-38]

Permits:

Commercial activity -
Unless approved by prior written permit issued by the director of the parks department or his/her designee, it shall be unlawful for any person in any county park to:

(a) Sell or offer for sale any merchandise;
(b) Operate or attempt to operate a concession; or
(c) Engage in any commercial or charitable activity in a county park.

The written permit must be on site with the event organizer or his/her designee and available for inspection at the time the activity regulated in this section is occurring.
[County Code 19-42]

Soliciting, begging on county property -
Without the express written consent of the chief executive, it shall be unlawful for any person to beg, solicit, or sell goods, wares or other objects or services within any building, or on any grounds, sidewalks or other ways owned by or under control of the county, its agencies, authorities, commissions, boards, bureaus or other county entities.
[County Code 16-91]

Public address systems -
No public address systems, lond speakers or amplifying devices shall be used in county parks unless written authori8zation for use is given by the department.
[County Code 19-35]

Special prohibitions -
(a) Prohibited; exception. No person shall serve, consume or transport in open containers any alcoholic beverage within a county park or recreation facility, except at a group function for which a permit has been issued by the parks and recreation department.
(b) Application for permit. All persons desiring to obtain a permit to serve or consume alcoholic beverages on county park property shall make application to the county on a form prescribed by the parks and recreation department, and shall pay a permit fee in the amount established by action of the board of commissioners, a copy of which is on file in the office of the clerk of the board of commissioners.
(c) Locations where permitted. Notwithstanding the above, permits may be issued by the parks and recreation director for the consumption of alcoholic beverages but may be issued for the following park locations only:
Brookhaven; Chapel Hill; County Line; Exchange (shelter 1); Henderson; Lithonia; Mark Trail (shelter 3); Murphey Candler (shelters 1 through 10); Blackburn; Gregory Mosley; Glen Emerald; Shoal Creek II; Stephenson Road Property; W.D. Thomson; Wade-Walker; Old Courthouse; Dunwoody; Emmie Smith; Mason Mill; and Southeast Athletic Complex.
(d) Other locations. Notwithstanding the above, permits may be issued by the planning director for the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and the North DeKalb Cultural Center.  Applications shall be made at the planning department on forms provided by the planning department and shall be accompanied by a permit fee as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
(a) Refusal and revocation of permits. parks and recreation director and the planning director shall have the right to refuse and revoke permits for cause.
[County Code 19-30]


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