Parks and Recreation Areas
Article I - General Regulations
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County. Amended 6-20-2001; 10-18-
§ 19-1. Title.
This Chapter shall be referred to as the "Henderson County Parks and Recreation Ordinance."
§ 19-2. Authority.
§ 19-3. Definitions.
The following terms are defined for purposes of this Chapter:
Department - The Parks and Recreation Department of Henderson County.
Director - The Director of the Parks and Recreation Department of Henderson County, or
Park - A park, reservation, playground, community center, recreation center, stadium or
any other area or structure in the County, owned or leased or used by the County and
devoted to active or passive recreation, including property owned by others and devoted
to park purposes under the jurisdiction of the Department.
Person - Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or
organization of any kind, but does not apply to park employees or law enforcement
officers to the extent necessary to carry out their duties.
Public Place - Any place which is viewable from any location open to the view of the
public at large.
Public Nudity - A person's intentional failure to cover with a fully opaque covering the
person's genitals, pubic area, anal area or female breasts below a point from the top of the
areola while in a public place, excluding toilet facilities.
Sexual Conduct - Vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, whether actual or simulated, or
Unnecessary Stopping - Bringing a vehicle to a complete stop at a point other than in a
parking place, or other than in conformity with traffic regulations and other than because
of a defect in said vehicle.
Any wheeled conveyance, whether motor-powered, animal-drawn or self-
propelled; except wheelchairs and similar vehicles, baby carriages and vehicles in the
service of the County parks or emergency vehicles.
§ 19-4. Park Property.
Buildings and other property. No person in a park shall:
Willfully mark, deface, disfigure, adulterate, injure, tamper with or displace or
remove any buildings, bridges, tables, fireplaces, railings, paving or paving
materials, water lines, or other public utilities or parts of appurtenances thereof,
fences, signs, notices or placards, whether temporary or permanent, receptacles,
monuments, stakes, posts, or other boundary markers, or other structures,
improvements or equipment, facilities or park property or appurtenances
whatsoever, either real or personal.
Force entry into any rest room or washroom that is locked or bolted; and no
person over the age of 6 years shall enter any rest room, washroom or locker
room designated for the opposite sex.
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 or permission
of the Director.
Camp or sleep overnight in any area of the park. No person shall set up tents,
shacks or any other temporary shelter for the purpose of overnight camping, nor
shall any person leave in any park any movable structure or special vehicle to be
used or that could be used for such purpose, such as a camper-trailer, house
trailer, motor home or the like.
Trees, shrubbery, lawns. No person in a park shall:
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; attach any rope, wire or other
contrivance to any tree or plant or tie or hitch an animal to any tree or plant.
Dig or remove any soil, rock or stones, or any trees, shrubs, plants, plantings,
grass, down-timber or other wood or materials, or make any excavation by tool,
equipment, blasting or other means or agency.
Climb, stand or sit upon monuments, vases, fountains, failings, fences, shelters,
trees or upon any other property, real or personal, not designated or customarily
used for such purposes.
Wild animals, birds. No person in a park shall:
Hunt, molest, harm, frighten, kill, trap, chase, tease, shoot or throw missiles at
any animal, reptile or bird; remove or possess the young of any wild animal, or
the eggs or nest or young of any reptile or bird; except that it shall not be
unlawful to kill snakes or other reptiles thought to be poisonous.
Give or offer, or attempt to give to any animal or bird any tobacco, alcohol or
other known noxious substances.
§ 19-5. Sanitation.
No person in a park shall:
Throw, discharge or otherwise place or cause to be placed in the waters of any fountain,
pond, lake, stream or other body of water in or adjacent to any park or any tributary
system, 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.
Dump, deposit or leave any bottles, broken glass, ashes, paper, boxes, cigarette or cigar
butts, cans, dirt, rubbish waste, garbage or refuse, or other trash anywhere on the park
grounds; except such matter may be placed in proper receptacles where provided. Where
receptacles are not 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.
Dump, deposit or leave household garbage or waste generated outside the park in the
park facilities, park receptacles or dumpsters, or on park grounds.
§ 19-6. Traffic.
No person in a park shall:
Fail to comply with the provisions of the motor vehicle traffic laws of the state and
ordinances of the County in regard to equipment and operation of vehicles.
Fail to obey all traffic officers, law enforcement officers and parks and recreation
employees, such persons being authorized and instructed to direct traffic whenever and
wherever needed in the park.
Fail to obey all traffic signs indicating speed, direction, caution, stopping or parking, and
all others posted for proper control and to safeguard life and property.
Ride or drive a vehicle at a rate of speed exceeding 10 miles an hour, except upon such
roads as the Director may specifically designate, by posted signs, for speedier travel.
Drive any vehicle on any area except the paved park roads or designated parking areas, or
such other areas as may on occasion be specifically designated as temporary parking
areas by the Director, except that bicycles shall be permitted on all trails unless
Park a vehicle, or allow it to stand in other than an established or designated parking area,
and such use shall be in accordance with the posted directions and with the instructions of
any traffic officer, law enforcement officer or parks and recreation employee who may be
Cause or permit a vehicle to obstruct the flow of traffic.
Cause or permit a vehicle to be parked unattended or abandoned overnight except by
written permission of the Director.
Stand, sit, congregate or in any way block or cause a hazard for vehicles in any roadway
or parking area, except as may be specifically designated by the director during special
Operate any motorized vehicle at any location within the park other than such places, if
any, as are specifically designated for such purposes by the Director, except that regularly
licensed vehicles and operators, or mopeds, may have access to the streets, roadways and
parking areas within parks to the same extent as public streets, subject to all other rules of
this article and Code.
Ride a bicycle on other than the right-hand side of a paved vehicular road or path
designated for that purpose; or fail to keep in single file when 2 or more bicycles are
operating as a group, except as specifically designated by the Director during special
Ride any other person over the age of 6 years on a single-passenger bicycle in any park.
Leave a bicycle unattended in a place other than a bicycle rack when such is provided and
there is space available.
Leave a bicycle lying on the ground or paving, or against trees, or in any place or position
where other persons may trip over or be injured by it.
Ride a bicycle on any road or parking area between 30 minutes after sunset and 30
minutes before sunrise without an attached headlight plainly visible at least 200 feet from
the front, and without a red taillight or red reflector plainly visible from at least 100 feet
from the rear of such bicycle.
§ 19-7. Recreational Activities.
Bathing and swimming. No person in a park shall swim, bathe or wade in any waters or
waterways in or adjacent to any park, except in such waters and at such places as are
provided therefore, and in compliance with such regulations as are now or may be
Boating. No person in a park shall operate any boat, raft or other watercraft, whether
motor-powered or not, upon any waters within a park.
Fishing. No person in a park shall:
Engage in commercial fishing, or the buying or selling of fish caught in any
Fish in any waters, whether by the use of hook and line, net, trap or other device,
where specifically prohibited by the Director for that use and under such
regulations and restrictions as have been or may be prescribed by the Director.
Picnic areas, shelters and use. No person in a park shall:
Picnic or lunch in a place other than those designated for that purpose. The parks
and recreation staff shall have the authority to regulate the activities in such
areas when necessary to prevent congestion and to secure the maximum use for
the comfort and convenience of the public. Visitors shall comply with any
directions given to achieve this end.
Violate the regulations that the use of the individual picnic areas and shelters,
together with fireplaces, tables and benches, follows generally the rule of "first
come, first served," or occupy a reserved area without authorization.
Leave a picnic area before the fire is completely extinguished and before all
trash in the nature of boxes, papers, cans, bottles, garbage, cigarette and cigar
butts, and other refuse, is placed in the disposal receptacles where provided. If
no such receptacles are available, then refuse and trash shall be carried away
from the park area by the user to be properly disposed of elsewhere.
§ 19-8. Behavior.
No person in a park shall:
Possess, consume, or be under the influence of:
Any malt beverage or unfortified wine, as defined in N.C.G.S. Chapter 18B.
Any fortified wine or spirituous liquor, as defined in N.C.G.S. Chapter 18B.
Possess, use, consume or be under the influence of any illegal drugs.
Build or attempt to build a fire, except in such areas as may be designated by the
Department for the building of fires; or throw or otherwise scatter lighted matches,
burning cigarettes, tobacco paper or other flammable material, within any park area.
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.
Engage in any disorderly conduct or behavior tending to be a breach of the public peace.
Engage in public nudity in any area of the park.
Engage in any sexual conduct in any area of the park.
Produce or emit any amplified speech, music or any other sounds that annoy, disturb or
frighten park users, without a permit. This provision does not apply to events organized
by the Department.
Disturb or unreasonably interfere with the activities of any other person or persons
occupying an area of a park.
Cause or permit any animal owned by or in the custody of such person to run at large or
be out of the immediate control such person. Each animal found at large may be seized
and disposed of as provided by local ordinance governing disposal of stray animals.
Enter, use or remain within any park during the hours when the park is closed.
§ 19-9. Explosives.
No person in a park shall possess or cause to explode, discharge, burn, or otherwise set off, any
pyrotechnic, firecracker, other fireworks or explosives, or to discharge or throw them into any such land or
highway adjacent thereto, except as may be specifically authorized by the Henderson County Board of
County Commissioners. This provision does not apply to events organized by the Department.
§ 19-10. Merchandising, Advertising and Signs.
No person in a park shall:
Expose, offer for sale or advertise any food, beverage, article or service, or solicit
donations, except as allowed by County policy or ordinance.
Paste, glue, tack or otherwise post any sign, placard, advertisement or inscription
whatever; except as allowed by County policy or ordinance.
§ 19-11. Park Operating Policy.
The opening and closing hours for each individual park or recreation facility shall be
determined by the Director and shall be posted therein for public information.
All or any section of any park or recreation area or facility may be declared closed to the
public by the Director at any time and 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 Director shall find reasonably necessary.
The findings of lost articles by park attendants shall be reported to the Director, who shall
make every reasonable effort to locate the owners.
A permit shall be obtained from the Director before participating in any park activity
which the Department shall from time to time designate as requiring such a permit.
The Director shall have the authority to revoke a permit upon a finding of violation of
any rule or ordinance, or upon good cause shown.
§ 19-12. Liability.
Any person or persons entering into a lease or rental agreement of any recreation facility agrees to hold
harmless the County of Henderson and park and recreation staff for any injuries or death occurring while
using the facilities. The sponsor shall assume full responsibility.
§ 19-13. Enforcement.
The Director has the authority and responsibility to enforce any rules and regulations
governing the use and maintenance of the parks and recreation facilities as adopted by the
Henderson County Board of Commissioners.
The Director, employees of the department, the Henderson County Sheriff or his
deputies, and any law enforcement officer having territorial jurisdiction over said park,
shall have the authority to eject from any park any person acting in violation of this or
any section of this Code, or any law of the state.
When there is a violation of any provision of this chapter, the County, or any person set
forth in §19-13B, in his/her discretion, may take one or more of the courses of action
set forth in Henderson County Code Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II.
§ 19-14 Through 19-49. (Reserved)
Article II - Child Safety Zone
§ 19-50. Prohibition of Convicted Child Sex Offenders in Child Safety Zone.
Definitions. The following terms are defined for purposes of this Chapter:
Camp - A site where educational and recreational activities are provided for
Child Safety Zone - All parks, public libraries, school sites, camps, and the
public ways within 300 feet of a park, public library, school site, or camp.
Convicted Child Sex Offender - Any person who is required to register on the
North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry pursuant to
which could require him or her to register on the North Carolina Sex Offender
and Public Protection Registry.
Loiter - Standing, sitting idly, whether or not the person is in a vehicle or
remaining in or around a child safety zone. This term shall not include the
A person's mere physical presence on a school site for the purposes of:
Dropping off or picking up such person's legal child who
attends such school; or
Meeting with school officials at the school at which such
person's legal child attends; or
Attending a school event in which such person's legal child is
A person's mere physical presence at an event announced to and open
to the general public held on a school site.
Park - The same as defined by §19-3.
Public Way - Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public
has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, common areas of schools,
shopping centers, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, transportation facilities,
theaters, restaurants, shops, bowling alleys, taverns, cafes, arcades, and similar
areas that are open to the use of the public.
The buildings and grounds of any elementary school, junior high
school, high school, or pre-school or child development or child-care
facility required to be licensed by the State of North Carolina; and
All school-bus stops.
Any library operated by Henderson County.
It shall be unlawful for a convicted child sex offender to knowingly loiter in any child
§ 19-51. Enforcement Procedures.
If a law enforcement officer reasonably believes that a convicted child sex offender is in
a child safety zone in violation of this article, the officer shall require the convicted child
sex offender to provide his/her name, address, and telephone number. If the officer
establishes that the individual is a convicted child sex offender, then the officer shall
notify the convicted child sex offender that he/she is in violation of the article.
For the purposes hereof, an individual may be established as a convicted child sex
If he/she is a resident of North Carolina and is required to be registered on the
North Carolina Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registration
If he/she is not a resident of North Carolina, he/she would be required to so
register if he/she was, in fact, a North Carolina resident.
§ 19-52. Violations and Penalties.
Any person violating any provision of this article, upon conviction, shall be punished by incarceration as
allowed by North Carolina law and by a fine not to exceed $500.
§ 19-53. Severability.
If any provision of this article is invalidated by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining
provisions shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect.
§ 19-54. Through 19-75. (Reserved)