Update: York County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the ordinance at Wednesday's meeting.
Originally reported: A new ordinance will set the new law of the land (and water) at York County's 11 public parks, addressing activities that range from recreational to lascivious.
Go ahead and wind surf, but don't solicit sex.
County officials periodically update the 19-page list of park rules, both adding and deleting the do's and don'ts on more than 4,300 acres and at two museums, a nature center and a historic site.
Rule changes: A lot has changed since the document was last updated in 2008, including the addition of a dog park at John C. Rudy County Park and the lifting of some regulations at William Kain Park, said county parks director Tammy Klunk.
Klunk said 24-hour boating is now allowed on Lake Redman and Lake Williams, as are the previously prohibited acts of wind surfing and flat boarding.
Rangers have already started to allow the activities on site, but the restrictions won't be officially lifted until the ordinance is passed, she said.
The revised ordinance also addresses an oversight regarding handicapped parking spaces, because the current version doesn't give rangers enforcement tools for those who park in the spaces without the required documentation.
The new document will includes the list of rules for Canine Meadows at John C. Rudy Park; there are no rule changes, but the park wasn't included in the 2008 version because it hadn't yet opened, Klunk said.
There's some new insurance and liability verbiage to cover the county in case of accidents. For example, a person having a picnic at Rudy will be permitted to have a bounce house temporarily installed at the park, but the person would need to buy insurance coverage that names the county as the insured, Klunk said.
No soliciting: The county also added a line under its "disorderly conduct" section of the ordinance, prohibiting "solicitation for sexual activity," because of a 2009 undercover sting in which park rangers cited 81 men for seeking sex in parks, Klunk said.
County officials launched the sting after employees noticed men "cruising" or sitting in parking lots. Those cited ranged in age from 23 to 87, and they allegedly went to Rocky Ridge and William H. Kain county parks looking for sexual activity with other men.
Klunk said Wednesday that rangers "remain vigilant" for solicitation and there is not a "continual problem" at the parks.
But the line is being added to the ordinance to give park officials a clearer regulation under which to cite offenders, Klunk said.
The disorderly conduct provision under which the men had been cited wasn't specific to solicitation, she said. The list already includes prohibitions on nudity and sexual behavior.
President Commissioner Steve Chronister said last week the solicitation is not something the county "can totally control, but enforcing it will send a strong message."
"Obviously we have families and children there," he said. "For goodness sake, get a hotel room."
— Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.