ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta is poised to update its parks rules for the first time in 20 years.
The City Council is expected to review changes proposed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Board on a final draft of revisions that may set limits on unpermitted gatherings and establish opening and closing times for different parks.
The council has already held three workshops on the topic and has yet to settle on a final plan. A fourth workshop, scheduled for Nov. 16, was postponed.
One of the latest sticking points relates to motorized bicycles on park paths.
The latest iteration presented by Alpharetta Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Morgan Rodgers last month provided an exception for bicycles on park trails for children under the age of 6 so long as they were accompanied by an adult.
Bicycles would still be allowed on the Big Creek Greenway and on the Alpha Loop, which will have its own set of rules.
“The intention is for bikes to be allowed on the Alpha Loop,” Rodgers said, “because it is more of a transportation corridor than it is a recreation corridor. That’s why we didn’t want to include it in the park rules. There’s going to be things that are not allowed in parks that will be allowed on the Alpha Loop.”
Rodgers said there are still details about whether motorized bikes or scooters will be allowed on the Alpha Loop.
Mayor Jim Gilvin said the state passed legislation last year that would allow motorized bikes anywhere bicycles were allowed, so long as they remained under a certain speed restriction. The latest version of the proposed ordinance highlights all elements relating to bicycles and motorized bikes in parks. The council is likely to settle on exact wording for their use in the coming weeks.
The updated ordinance would also clarify park rules about littering and removal of items, such as trees and shrubs, from the park.
Another element addressed in the revised ordinance deals with skateboards. Under current code, skateboards are allowed in parks. The new ordinance would allow skateboards only in designated areas.
“It’s not our intent to stop skateboarding in all of our parks,” Rodgers said. “We have to make sure that where they are allowed, it’s safe for everybody, including the skateboarders.”
Because of the variety of parks in the city, the new rules set separate opening and closing times for different park categories.
- Active parks will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Greenway and Greenway access parks will operate from dawn to dusk.
- Neighborhood parks will be open from dawn to dusk.
- Downtown parks will be open from dawn to midnight.