Update 2020-07-03: As amended and passed, Columbia County, FL, Parks Ordinance, No. 2020-08, 2020-06-18.
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 18, new rules for Rum Island Park will be voted on by the Columbia County BOCC. This park with its public boat ramp is a popular access to the Santa Fe River and its springs.
At the previous meeting in which they scheduled this meeting, Columbia County Commissioners were heard complaining about kayak and canoe outfitters being some sort of problem.
The greatly expanded definitions in the ordinance add permits, with a limit of a total of four permits for “regular commercial uses of parks or recreational facilities”. It’s not clear what “uses” means. Does that include dropping off customers at a public boat ramp? Parking outfitter vehicles? Other?
You can comment if you attend, or you can send email beforehand; see below.
WWALS has no official position, although we will send a letter asking the BOCC to be sure such permits don’t interfere with Sec. 78-6(C):
“(C) Boats, including human-powered craft and boats of common horsepower motors, shall be allowed.”
So far as I know, Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) also has no official position.
When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Where: Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055
What: Special called meeting of the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners
Purpose: To adopt a Rum Island Park Ordinance within a broad Columbia County Park Ordinance that includes all of the recreational holdings of the county.
Attend in person. Or send email to:
To: Board Secretary Penny Stanley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: County Attorney Joel Foreman <email@example.com>
Subject: Columbia County BOCC Park Ordinance
Thanks to Jim Tatum for the ordinance and to Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson for the addresses, as well as for catching the scheduling of this meeting in the previous meeting, and the Commissioners’ comments.
For the complete Park Ordinance, see the PDF.
COLUMBIA COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA ITEM REQUEST FORM
The Board of County Commissioners meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055. All agenda items are due in the Board’s office one week prior to the meeting date.
Today’s Date: June 11, 2020
Meeting Date: June 18, 2020
Name: Joel Foreman
Department: County Attorney
Division Manager’s Signature: [signed]
1. Nature and purpose of agenda item:
ORDINANCE NO. 2020-08—AMENDING CHAPTER 78, ARTICLES I, II, III, AND VI OF THE COUNTY CODE OF ORDINANCES RELATING TO THE USE AND REGULATION OF COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATIONAL AREAS
2. Recommended Motion/Action:
To adopt Ordinance 2020-08
3. Fiscal impact on current budget.
This item has no effect on the current budget.
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
Office of the County Attorney
Joel F. Foreman
To: Board Agenda, June 18, 2020
From: Joel F. Foreman
Re: ORDINANCE NO. 2020-08
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 78, ARTICLES I, II, III, AND VI OF THE COUNTY CODE OF ORDINANCES RELATING TO THE USE AND REGULATION OF COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATIONAL AREAS.
Date: June 11, 2020
The attached draft Ordinance 2020-08 would, if adopted, unify the County’s park and recreational area regulations while incorporating the Board’s desires for changes at Rum Island Park such as parking enforcement and the creation of a park permit to be issued for those wishing to make regular commercial use of any park.
The ordinance imposes the Board’s regulations while recognizing the role of the County Manager under Charter to see to the care and custody of the County’s property. The Parks and Recreation Director is also authorized, with the County Manager, to create and implement rules that are necessary for the operation of particular parks. For example, the rules at Southside may differ from rules that would apply to Alligator Lake park, but the general regulations would be the same while Board would retain the ability to set many regulations such as hours of operation and entry fees. This will afford staff more discretion in balancing the needs of the public and limitations necessary to ensue the parks remain in good condition.
To adopt Ordinance 2020-08.
Sec. 78-1. – Definitions.
The following words, terms, and phrases, when
used in this chapter shall have the meanings
ascribed to them in this chapter, except where
otherwise provided or the context clearly
indicates a different meaning:
Alcoholic beverages means distilled spirits
and all beverages containing one-half of one
percent or more alcohol by volume. The
percentage of alcohol by volume shall be
determined by measuring the volume of the
standard ethyl alcohol in the beverage and
comparing it with the volume of the remainder
of the ingredients as though said remainder
ingredients were distilled water.
County Parks and Recreation Director means
an employee of the County designated by the
County Manager to hold such position.
Dump means to dump, throw, discard, place,
deposit or dispose of litter.
Firearm means any weapon (including a
starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may
readily be converted to expel a projectile by
the action of an explosive; the frame or
receiver of any such weapon; any firearm
muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive
device; or any machine gun.
FWC means the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission or its successors in
name or interest.
Litter means any garbage; rubbish; trash;
refuse; can; bottle, box, container; paper;
tobacco product; tire; appliance; mechanical
equipment or part; building or construction
material; tool; machinery; wood; motor vehicle
or motor vehicle part; vessel; aircraft; farm
machinery or equipment; sludge from a waste
treatment facility, water supply treatment
plant or air pollution control facility; or
substance in any form resulting from domestic,
industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural,
or governmental operations.
Park or Recreational Facility means the
following named parks, areas, and facilities
of the County:
(1) Rum Island Park
(2) Mason City Recreational Area
(3) Mason City Community Center
(4) Paul S. Giebeig Recreational Park
(5) Springville Community Center
(6) Lulu Community Center
(7) Southside Sports Complex
(8) South Columbia Sports Complex
(9) Fort White Community Center
(10) Winfield Community Center
(11) Alligator Lake Park Recreation Area
(12) The Falling Creek Park
(13) Bethlehem Park
(14) Deep Creek Community Center
(15) Westside Community Center
(16) Any other recreational area, park,
community center, sports complex, or
other similar facility owned or
operated for the benefit of the public
by the County government
Person means any natural person or any
corporation, not-for-profit corporation, firm,
partnership or principal thereof which is
organized and existing under the laws of the
United States or any state.
Pet. As used herein, shall mean an animal
that is tamed or domesticated and kept as a
Cross reference— Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 78-2. – Consumption or Possession of
Alcoholic Beverages Prohibited on Certain
No person shall consume any alcoholic
beverage or have in his or her possession any
alcoholic beverage in any open container or in
any resealable container, the seal to which has
been broken, on any park or recreational
facility or upon any county-owned property
adjacent and contiguous to them or a community
center. Nor shall such consumption or
possession be permitted on the right-of-way of
any public street located immediately adjacent
to any park or recreational facility.
Sec. 78-3. – Rules and Regulations.
(A) The County Manager and the County Parks
and Recreation Director are charged with
oversight, implementation, and enforcement
of regulations imposed by this Chapter.
(A) The County Manager and the County Parks
and Recreation Director may create and
promulgate rules supplemental to those set
forth herein for each of the County’s
parks and recreational facilities to the
extent such rules are necessary and
appropriate to particular parks or
recreational facilities. Such rules shall
not conflict with the regulations set
forth by the Board of County
Commissioners. The Parks and Recreation
Director shall be responsible for the
implementation and enforcement of such
rules. A violation of a rule promulgated
under this section shall be a violation of
(C) The County Parks and Recreation Director
shall have the authority to set the
regular hours of operation for all County
parks and recreational facilities, and
shall further be authorized to close any
park or recreational facility in the event
of an emergency or any event presenting a
threat to life, health, or safety to the
(D) It shall be unlawful for any person or
persons to do the following acts on or in
any park or recreational facility or on
the right-of-way of any public street
located immediately adjacent to any such
(1) To destroy natural vegetation or
otherwise deface the natural
environment or public property or
(2) To dump litter.
(3) To have dogs, horses, other pets, or
a. Service or assistance animals;
b. Hunting dogs during permitted hours
and in areas where hunting is
c. Animals as permitted by written
approval signed by the County
Manager or Parks and Recreation
(4)To engage in any overnight camping
except primitive-type camping within
designated, restricted areas in
accordance with county resolution.
(5) To swim nude or be otherwise nude while
in plain view of others upon or
adjacent to any park or recreational
(6) To possess or discharge any crossbow or
bow and arrow except in connection with
hunting as specifically authorized or
as by authorized law enforcement
(7) To build or maintain any open fire,
except in grills or other containers
specifically provided by the county for
the building or maintaining of such a
fire. No other grill or fire container
may be used upon any park or
recreational facility except in
(8) To destroy, damage or deface any
structure, fencing, buildings, tables,
or other improvements on the site.
Sec. 4.— Fees.
(A) The County may from time to time by
resolution adopted by the Board of County
Commissioners impose reasonable fees to be
charged for access to or certain uses of
any park or recreational facility.
(B) To the extent necessary to enhance the
public’s use or enjoyment of a park or
recreational facility, the County may from
time to time by resolution adopted by the
Board of County Commissioners collect
reasonable fees for parking at any park or
(C) To maintain the public’s reasonable access
to and enjoyment of park or recreational
facilities, regular commercial uses of
parks or recreational facilities shall
require issuance of an annual permit
through the office of the County Parks and
a.“Regular commercial use” means usage of
any park or recreational facility or
part thereof for any commercial purpose
more than six times in any 12-month
b.The cost of permits issued under this
section shall be established from time
to time by resolution of the Board of
County Commissioners. No more than four
permits may be issued for any one park
or recreational facility at any given
c.Permits shall entitle the holder thereof
to the same use of park or recreational
facilities enjoyed by members of the
public and subject to the same
restrictions. A permit shall not entitle
the holder to any special privileges or
uses other than the opportunity to use
the park or recreational facilities for
d.-Regular commercial use of any park or
recreational facility without a permit
shall constitute a violation of this
Article for each instance of such use,
and offenses shall be punishable as
provided by Florida law. The County
Manager or County Parks and Recreation
Director shall prohibit regular
commercial use without a permit, up to
and including requesting assistance from
the Sheriff to secure expulsion of
offending individuals or entities from
all parks and recreational facilities
unless and until a permit is obtained.
e.Other commercial uses may be restricted
or prohibited by the County Manager or
County Parks and Recreation Director as
appropriate to the specific needs,
limitations, or situational or seasonal
circumstances of each park or
f.This part shall not apply to commercial
uses of community centers to the extent
commercial uses are undertaken through a
license agreement between the County and
a third-party for the operation of that
Sec. 78-5. — Hours of Operation.
The County may from time to time by resolution
adopted by the Board of County Commissioners
set the regular hours of operation of all parks
and recreational facilities including the hours
which said areas shall be closed for various
activities. This part shall not limit the
authority of the Parks and Recreation Director
pursuant to section 78-2.
Sec. 78-6. — Certain Vehicles and Modes of Transportation Limited.
(A) Except in designated parking areas and on
roadways providing ingress and egress to
such parking areas, no automobiles of any
description shall be permitted upon any
park or recreational areas. This provision
shall not prohibit County or law
enforcement vehicles from going upon the
park or recreational areas for official
(B) Bicycles shall be permitted in designated
(C) Boats, including human-powered craft and
boats of common horsepower motors, shall
be allowed. Boating speed may be limited
on or about the County’s lands by
resolution. Skiing, hydroplaning, jet
skiing, and like motorized watersports are
(C) Unless expressly authorized and posted,
and as otherwise restricted by Florida
law, single-rider and side-by-side all-
terrain vehicles (“ATV”s), motorcycles or
motorbikes are prohibited outside of
parking areas and ingress-egress roadways
in all parks and recreational areas,
except County-authorized maintenance,
management, or law enforcement vehicles.
(E) Notwithstanding anything herein to the
contrary, no provision of this article
shall prohibit or restrict access to a
public boat ramp for the limited purpose
of launching a trailered watercraft.
Cross reference— Traffic and vehicles, ch. 114.
Sec. 78-7. — Penalties for violation of article.
Any person violating the provisions of this
article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the
second degree, punishable as provided by
On pages 24-26, they removed the old Rum Island Park article.
ARTICLE III. — RESERVED RUM ISLAND PARK
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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