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Examiner
  • Council approves park ordinance

  • Keeping residents safe is an ongoing effort in the city of Blue Springs, and now police officers have an even greater ability to do that in city parks.



    The Blue Springs City Council approved a parks ordinance Monday, establishing rules and regulations in all city parks.

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  • Keeping residents safe is an ongoing effort in the city of Blue Springs, and now police officers have an even greater ability to do that in city parks.
    The Blue Springs City Council approved a parks ordinance Monday, establishing rules and regulations in all city parks.
    The ordinance was originally introduced May 6, but the council sent it back to the Parks Commission for further review because of concerns regarding three issues: firearms, sales and self-propelled vehicles.
    Possession of firearms and projectile shooting devices in parks was the main issue Monday. While the provision did not prohibit a person to cart a concealed firearm with a permit, Councilman Jeff Quibell felt like it still targeted an otherwise law-abiding citizen who was carrying a weapon openly or concealed.
    “I don’t think there is any consensus in the community as to what the right solution is,” he said. “We know that this is not addressing a current problem we have. I think we are attempting to regulate a lawful activity and thereby potentially making an otherwise law-abiding citizen not behaving lawfully simply because they choose to carry a firearm in our parks.”
    Quibell said he felt like the provision could trump existing state and federal state laws and did not feel like the section was needed in the ordinance. The council approved an amendment to remove the section entirely. Firearms are still prohibited from city buildings and it is illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limits.
    “I don’t think this is really necessary to accomplish the goals we need to accomplish,” Quibell said. “This ordinance does not give (the police) additional tools. If citizens are behaving lawfully, no problem. If they are behaving unlawfully, then regulations are in place already.”
    The second concern was solicitation, sales and commercial use within the parks. The provision in the ordinance requires that anyone who requests a permit to sell or dispense merchandise in a park must obtain a city license as well as any other required state or county license to do so. However, the concern was with events such as Barbeque Blaze-Off where competitors sell samples to the public. The Parks Commission established a list of entities or events that are exempt from these licensing requirements, so there will be no change in requirements during such events.
    The final issue was use of self-propelled vehicles within public parks and on city property. The initial draft of the ordinance prohibited the use of such vehicles. However, some community volunteers use self propelled vehicles to help during events. The ordinance was amended to give the director of parks and recreation authority to allow use of such motorized vehicles on city property during special events and activities.
     
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