New Santa Barbara Park Regulations
Source: City of Santa Barbara
Fans of City of Santa Barbara parks have a few new rules to keep in mind, all of which focus on making local parks safer and more enjoyable places to recreate. Three changes to the Santa Barbara Municipal Code, approved last month by the City Council, put consistent park hours in place, protect playgrounds as safe children’s play areas, and provide guidance on the use of portable barbecues in City parks.
“These changes are something we considered carefully, and we took into account feedback from the public when drafting the ordinance,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jill Zachary. “You won’t have to wonder when a park is open, because they all close at the same time now—a half hour after sunset. There are clear rules about who should be using designated children’s play areas, such as any of our 22 City playgrounds. And we created a simple standard so picnickers will know where they can use portable barbecues. Overall, the new rules are clear and consistent, and they should minimize confusion for everyone who enjoys using our parks.”
Beginning October 17, all parks—with a few exceptions—are open to the public from sunrise to half hour after sunset. Sunrise and sunset on any particular day as determined by the National Weather Service, making it easy to check online when planning a visit to the park.
The three parks that are exceptions to this rule are: Skofield Park, Franceschi Park, and Hilda McIntyre Ray Park. All have caretakers living on site, so gates will open in those three parks at 8:00 a.m. and close, as with all other parks, at a half hour after sunset.
Other exceptions are still made for permitted special events, recreational activities, and rentals. For instance areas with lighted sports fields, such as Cabrillo Ball Park, Dwight Murphy Field, Pershing Park, and the Municipal Tennis Courts, may be open after dark for approved activities.
Adults (18 and older) are only allowed to enter City playgrounds when accompanying a child 12 or younger. An exception to this rule is if an adult is accompanying a person aged 13 years and older with special needs.
By establishing rules limiting access to playgrounds by adults maximizes the usability of the equipment by children, reduces wear and tear, increases the longevity of the equipment, and supports safe play conditions.
To provide safe and well maintained amenities for visitors new guidelines for portable barbecues and camp stoves usage have been established. Portable barbeques and camp stoves that are self-contained, enclosed with a lid, and raised at least six inches off a surface may be used in any park picnic table or on a City beach.
The exception is Parma Park, which does have a picnic area, but portable barbecues are not allowed in the park due to high wildfire danger.
Barbeque users must remove hot coals and ash from the park, unless a hot coal disposal receptacle is provided. Currently, three parks have hot coal disposal receptacles: Oak Park, Shoreline Beach Park, and Leadbetter Beach Park.
For additional information visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/ParkRules.
About the Parks and Recreation Department
The City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department proudly maintains a wide range of parks, facilities, and programs designed to serve community needs.
The Department’s mission is to provide clean and safe parks, beaches, and recreation facilities; to enhance Santa Barbara’s beauty; to promote stewardship of resources; and to provide quality recreation, cultural experiences, and community services to improve quality of life for Santa Barbara residents.