Proposed Park Rules Changes

May 2017

Parks and Open Space is proposing a number of park rule changes aimed at increasing enjoyment of the parks and clarifying park use requirements. Read the full administrative order. Here is a summary:

Alcohol in Parks

Over the years, the number of parks in Eugene that prohibit alcohol consumption has grown. Currently, the most visited parks in Eugene prohibit the consumption of alcohol. In parks where alcohol is still allowed, the restrictions requiring a 25-foot clearance around playgrounds, parking lots, picnic areas, etc., result in such a patchwork of rules that it is often confusing for patrons, park staff and law enforcement. The Parks and Open Space Division is proposing a park rule change that will make all Eugene parks alcohol free unless a special event permit is given. The goals of this park rule change will be to eliminate confusion for park patrons, park staff and law enforcement about where alcohol use is allowed, while still allowing alcohol consumption for special events in parks.  

In order to accommodate special events taking place in parks and park facilities, the City can authorize the use of alcohol if it is part of an event permit for weddings, family reunions, and other community activities. It can also be allowed by the facility supervisor or the person in charge of parks and recreation facilities at 20 locations in Eugene such as the Amazon and Washington Park Community Centers, for the lessee of the Science Factory, etc. Other park agencies in Oregon, such as Willamalane Park District, Portland Parks and Cottage Grove Army Corps, also prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

Amplified Sound 

Would require that a special use permit be obtained if an event will use amplified sound for any period of time and would eliminate the current two hour threshold for amplified sound. 

Commercial Photography

Removes the prohibition on commercial photography and filming at Hendricks Park and Owen Rose Garden, which are popular places to feature in Eugene. These activities would still require a permit like the rest of the park system. 

Bike Assembly

Would prohibit the assembling, disassembling and distributing of bicycles or bicycle parts without City permission. It would restrict the number of bicycles and bicycle parts that may be in a person’s possession. Cyclists using the park system could still make necessary repairs on their bikes such as fixing a flat tire, etc. 

Vehicle Parking

Would require that vehicles in parks be parked within the parking lines and only occupy one parking space, unless written permission is obtained from the City. Would also provide that unauthorized vehicles in parks after closure are subject to being cited for a violation of the park rules relating to overnight parking. 

Small Dog Park

Prohibits dogs weighing over 25 pounds from being in the “small dog” off-leash dog parks. 

Next Steps

The proposed rule changes were posted in the legal section of the Register Guard on 5-4-2017. The public will have 15 days (until the end of the day on May 19) to provide the City with comment via email or mail.

Comments or objections to the amendments must be submitted in writing to one of the following addresses:

  • City of Eugene Public Works Department, Administration Division, 101 East Broadway, Suite 400, Eugene, Oregon 97401
  • City of Eugene Public Works Department, Parks and Open Space Division, 1820 Roosevelt Blvd., Eugene, Oregon 97402
  • Via email to
After expiration of the comment period, the Executive Director will adopt the amendments as proposed, or as modified in response to comments received.

Throughout the spring and summer, the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division would do community outreach about the rule changes that would include new park rule signs and information in publications such as the Picture Your Parks newsletter. Park Ambassadors would also provide information to park patrons during their regular duties.

For more information about the rule change, please contact City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Outreach Manager Kelly Darnell at or 541-682-4901.