LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Lewisboro Town Board has passed an ordinance that will limit the use of town-owned recreation facilities by out-of-town groups and individuals and provide police with more authority to deal with such situations.
While the town always had rules and regulations for such things as pool and pavilion use, there were no statutes on the books police could enforce.
“The intent of this new law is to allow police to enforce some common-sense rules,” said Supervisor Peter Parsons. “When a town employee needs help, police can now help out with some statutory backing.”
The law was drafted with help from Recreation Director Dana Mayclim, as well as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council.
Ian Harris, council chair, said the group supported the current draft of the law, but noted it probably will have to be amended as new issues arise down the road.
“Even if it is perfection right now, something is bound to come up in a year a two,” he told the Town Board at a public hearing on the matter Monday evening. “But we are fine with it the way it is and it needs to go forward.”
Much of the discussion at the hearing focused on who would qualify for access to the park and its facilities and how the law should be worded to reflect that. Originally, the law only included taxpayers but renters were added. Eventually the word “residents” was added to act as an umbrella for all those who live in town.
“[The council is] in favor of renters having access,” Harris said. “The law is written in a way that proof [of residency] is acceptable. Parks and Rec should be the gatekeeper for that.”
Proof of residency would include a utility bill or credit card bill with the applicant’s name and address.
The board also discussed how au pairs or nannies would be handled. Deputy Supervisor Peter DeLucia said town officials still are working to refine that part of the law, but until then, they would be allowed into the park and pool area with guest passes.
“An au pair or nanny would be a sponsored guest,” DeLucia said. “We are trying to accommodate the population of our town that uses child care, which is actually quite large. Next year, they’re going to be able to get a special discounted au pair pass – we are working on that. But right now, they need a guest pass.”
Town officials said the need for the new law became evident this year. Several incidences have taken place where out-of-towners have used the pavilions and the athletic fields at the park, believing it was a county facility. There also have been reports of inappropriate behavior at the pool, but without any law on the books, police had no means of enforcement.
That’s now changed. The proposed ordinance lays out specific uses that require permits, including the use of the pool, ball fields, pavilions, vending, and camping. Those seeking a permit for an event will have to file an application and include a certificate of insurance.
The new law also addresses those who violate the requirements, stating that “any person violating any provision … shall be fined in an amount determined by the Town Board for each offense.”