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Information About the City of Boulder's Nighttime Parks Closure Rule

On Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, City Manager Jane S. Brautigam signed a rule closing city parks from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly. The rule took effect on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.

Why was the rule adopted?

The city manager imposed the rule, with the support of a majority of elected City Council members, to help ensure that public property is maintained and available for a variety of lawful uses. The rule is also intended to address concerns about health, safety and sanitation.

Who is affected by the rule?

All individuals who are in the parks between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., except for those who are walking, cycling or otherwise passing through without delay.

What parks are impacted?

All city parks. The rule does not apply to open space within city limits.

Will signs be posted?

Yes. The city is working on posting signs at the parks. While efforts will be made to post signs as quickly as possible, it is anticipated this could take a couple of weeks. The city is doing what it can to make people aware of the rule, but signage is not required for police to enforce the rule once it takes effect.

What about the other hours of the day? Can protestors pitch tents and participate in political speech during non-closure hours?

Yes. As long as individuals are not in violation of ordinances related to camping, public urination and other illegal activities, they are welcome on city park property any time between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. Both individuals and their property need to be removed from the premises at closing time.

What will happen if individuals violate the rule?

The Boulder Police Department is responsible for enforcing the park closures. The city is encouraging individuals to comply voluntarily and help protect the property for use by all during daytime hours. A violation of the rule could result in a criminal trespassing charge.

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