HUDSON FALLS -- You can stroll or skip or stand on the grass in J. Walter Juckett Park, but the Village Board recently passed a rule banning people from sitting on the grass or lying on it.
In a decision made last month, following publication of the law and a public hearing at which there was no comment, the board voted to strengthen rules at all five village parks.
In a rule specific to Juckett Park, a heavily used area where Route 4 and Route 254 come together, sitting and lying down are banned.
The new law includes the following two sentences in a four-item addendum about Juckett Park:
“Sitting or lying down on the landscaped and grass areas of the park is prohibited. Lying down or standing on park benches is prohibited.”
It does not ban walking on the grass.
The park is the site of summer concerts and many other events, but Mayor John Barton said Tuesday the law is not intended to affect people’s behavior at organized events.
“That’s not something we are going to enforce during concerts or other events,” Barton said. “People will still be able to sit on the grass and listen to concerts. The issue we have had is with loitering and people just hanging around on the grass. There are benches and places to sit.”
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The newly passed local law includes all five village parks — Derby Park on William and Coleman streets, Paris Park behind the village hall, Juckett Park, Wall Street Pond and the nearby Grace Park, which has been renovated for concerts.
Violators of any of the regulations can be expelled from the park they are in.. The law also calls for fines of up to $250 or up to 15 days in jail for violations. The penalties for additional violations are higher, extending to a fine of between $500 and $750 and/or up to 60 days in jail for a third conviction within five years.
The law prohibits dogs, cats or other pets from any village parks.
It bans smoking and alcohol in all village parks and also prohibits potentially dangerous activities and profanity.
The ordinance also bans walking or skating on Wall Street Pond when it is frozen, citing a hazardous condition caused by the flow of water through the pond.
Village Board members were responding to the increasing use of the parks and have also developed a new vendor policy for the events being held in them.
All parks are closed from midnight to 6 a.m.
For Juckett Park, specific rules say visitors must stay off the monuments and fountain.
Additional rules in Derby Park allow only children 10 and under on certain pieces of playground equipment and call for the posting of specific hours for the park.
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