By Susan Motander
The Monrovia City Council has codified the rules for behavior in its Hillside Wilderness Preserve (HWP). The Hillside Wilderness Preserve refers to the City owned land designated in the City’s General Plan as “Hillside Wilderness Preserve which can be accessed from the Highland Access Point, Cloverleaf Access Point, Ridgeside Access Point, and Sleepy Hollow Access Point. The city has designated that the “recreational activity in the Hillside Wilderness Preserve” will be “under the direction and control of the Public Services Director.” The following is a synopsis of the rules pertaining to the preserve.
The HWP is open to the public between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. of each day. It can also be used at other times, but only by special permit from the Public Services Department. These times can be changed by the City Manager, the Public Services Director, the Public Works Director, or the Community Services Director at his or her discretion.
There are restrictions regarding conduct within the HWP. These include:
– Not breaking, defacing, disturbing, marking or writing upon any building, monument, fence, cage, pen, monument, statue, bench or other structure, apparatus or property.
– Not defacing, destroying, covering, damaging or removing any placard, notice or sign or parts thereof, whether permanent or temporary, posted or exhibited by the city.
– No Camping or lodging unless authorized by a special permit from the Public Services Department.
– No throwing, depositing, leaving, scattering, dropping or abandoning bottles, cans, broken glass, hot coals, ashes, papers, trash, sewage, waste or other materials, except in receptacles provided for such purposes.
There are also rules regarding fires in the HWP. The restrictions are as follows:
– No making or kindling any fire except in designated barbeques provided by the city or camping spaces as authorized by a special permit from the Fire Department.
– No lighting, smoking, carrying, throwing or dropping any burning or smoldering portion of any cigarette, cigar, match or other burning substance in any area of the Hillside Wilderness Preserve.
– No carrying or discharging any firearms, firecrackers, rockets, torpedoes, fireworks or other explosive or blasting devices, air guns or slingshots.
– No tampering, mutilating, destroying or removing installed Fire Department locks, barricades, seals, cables, signs and markers, or allowing any of these activities to occur.
– No unlocking installed Fire Department gates, doors, barriers, and locks, or allowing any of these activities to occur.
In regard to the natural features including plants, streams, and ponds, people in the reserve are restricted from:
– Cutting, injuring, disturbing, plucking, pulling up or out, taking or removing any shrub, bush, tree, plant or flower;
– Cutting or removing any wood, turf, grass, soil, rock, sand or gravel;
– Digging any trenches, holes or other excavations;
– Swimming, bathing, wading in or polluting any stream, pond, lake or fountain;
– Throwing any trash, rubbish, vegetable or animal matter of any kind in any stream, pond, lake or fountain;
– Discharging waste water or any other wastes in the park except in designated containers, drains or dumping stations;
– Placing any debris or other pollutant in or upon any park lands or any body of water in or adjacent to a city park or any tributary, stream, storm sewer or drain, or engaging or participating in any activity or act that will impair or imperil the purity or wholesomeness of any water designed for household or domestic use;
– Rolling or throwing boulders, rocks or stones down the sides of any declivity or from any trails without first taking all necessary precaution to protect persons below from injury;
The rules regarding wildlife and other animals include restrictions against:
– Leading or letting loose any cattle, horse, mule, goat, sheep, swine or fowl of any kind;
– Riding or driving any horse or other animal not broken into and under the driver’s perfect control;
– Riding or propelling any horse or other animal elsewhere other than on roadways or trails provided for such purposes;
– Killing, trapping, hunting, pursuing or in any manner disturbing any species of wildlife or other animals, including snakes other than poisonous snakes;
– Feeding any non-domesticated mammalian wildlife, including but not limited to bears, deer, mountain lions, coyotes, raccoons, opossum, mice, rats, skunks, squirrels or feral cats. This prohibition does not include feeding of any non-domesticated mammalian by the owner of such animal when the non-domesticated mammalian is kept under a valid certificate or permit issued by the state of California Department of Fish and Game;
– Bringing any animal into a park unless caged or kept on a leash no more than six feet in length;
– Allowing or permitting any animal under that person’s ownership or possession to defecate on any publicly owned place, or otherwise having custody or possession of such animal at designated areas without possessing an appropriate device for cleaning up such animal’s feces and disposing of it in a sanitary manner;
– Permitting any animal under that person’s control to disturb, harass or interfere with any park visitor, a park visitor’s property or a city employee;
– Keeping or maintaining noisy, offensive or dangerous animals as provided in §6.28.080 of this code;
– Releasing or abandoning any animal within the park;
There are also rules regarding “disorderly or hazardous conduct”.
According to the newly enacted municipal code, those in the HWP are restricted from the following actions:
– Indulging in riotous, boisterous, threatening or indecent conduct, or abusive, threatening, profane or indecent language;
– Engaging or participating in any game or activity which may create hazard or danger to other persons or property, including, but not limited to baseball, hitting of golf balls, engaging in model airplane flying, use of weapons; provided, however, that any such activity shall be permissible within any area which is specifically designed for such activity.
– Obstructing, interfering with, remaining or loitering in a manner that interferes with the use or purpose of any park, recreation facility or publicly owned place.
– Failing to comply with posted hours, signage or applicable rules.
– Failing to observe any Hillside Wilderness Preserve closure.
Gambling is also prohibited in the HWP including “playing, participating or betting at or against any game of chance which is played, conducted or carried on with cards, dice or other device for money, chips, shells, credit or any other representative of value, or maintaining any gambling table or other instrument of gambling and gaming.”
There are also rules regarding the operation of vehicles in the HWP. These rules restrict:
– Driving or operating any vehicle, cycle or automobile elsewhere other than on roadways provided for such purposes, or at a rate of speed greater than the posted speed limit or as provided in this code.
– Operating a motor vehicle or approaching any curve or turn on any mountain road within any park without sounding the horn of such vehicle.
– Operating any motor vehicle with an open muffler or making unnecessary smoke or noise of any kind in such operation.
– Parking or leaving a motor vehicle standing except in designated areas and only in a manner so as not to restrict normal traffic flow.
– Parking or leaving a motor vehicle standing after closing hours; unless authorized by a special permit from the Public Services Department.
– Failing to yield right of way to pedestrians and other trail or roadway users.
– Failing to obey posted signs.
The rules also say there is no riding of bicycles, skateboards, roller skates or similar devises except on designated roadways or trails.
There are also rules regarding commercial activities in the HWP. These include restrictions against the following:
– Posting or placing any bills, notices, papers or advertising devices of any kind.
– Selling or offering for sale any merchandise, article or thing without the permission of the City Council.
– Practicing, carrying on, conducting or soliciting for any trade, occupation, business, or profession without the permission of the City Council.
– Selling, exchanging, giving, loaning or distributing any pressurized can containing any substance commonly known as paint or dye to anyone under the age of 18 years old.
– Possessing any pressurized can containing any substance commonly known as paint or dye while in any city park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility, public highway, street, alley or any publicly owned place, whether inside a vehicle or not, except as authorized by the city. Such authorization includes authorization provided to city employees or employees of an individual or company under contract with the city.
Disobeying these rules can result in criminal charges or a civil fine. Citations can be issued not only by the police department, but also representatives of the fire department or community services department. It will be up to the police officer or fire department or community service representative to determine if the violation should be treated as an infraction, misdemeanor or subject to an administrative citation.