NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- People who violate the rules at North Richland Hills parks can now face fines of up to $500 per offense.
The city has a new ordinance that puts some teeth into rules that have existed for years.
Regulations include no use of the parks between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise posted, a 10-mph speed limit, a ban on weapons without a concealed-handgun permit, a ban on fires except in enclosed fireplaces and grills, and a ban on lewd activity at restrooms. Children under age 10 cannot be left unattended. Plants cannot be planted without permission.
The rules are generally there as a precaution, said Vickie Loftice, city managing director of community services. There are no widespread problems of lewd activity or parents leaving children unattended. Occasionally in the past, some people would plant trees without notifying the city, and they would end up just dying, Loftice said.
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The City Council voted 7-0 on Sept. 26 to approve the new ordinance. No single incident prompted the move, Loftice said.
"We had most of the rules and regulations in place," she said, adding that the ordinance helps with enforcement.
Most people won't be fined. Penalties are largely reserved for deliberate acts like driving on a playing field and doing doughnuts, Loftice said. A judge would set any fines, city spokeswoman Mary Peters said.
Here are some of the rules:
No alcohol, except at specified events at Stormy Plaza, NRH
No dogs without a leash, except at the dog park off Davis Boulevard. People cannot tie the leash to fencing, poles or other places. Owners must clean up after their pets.
No fireworks or hobby rockets without city permission.
No hitting golf balls except in designated areas.
No parking in more than one space.
No swimming, wading or boating in a city lake, pond, stream or creek without city permission.
Gene Trainor, 817-390-7419