Following complaints, city amends park closing hours

Beginning Friday, the two parks will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, except for fishing and boating

  • A sign displays the new hours for park activities at S. J. Stovall Park, which go into effect Friday.  (Photo: Josh Turman / Reader submitted)
    A sign displays the new hours for park activities at S. J. Stovall Park, which go into effect Friday. (Photo: Josh Turman / Reader submitted))
  • The entrance sign at S. J. Stovall Park. (Photo: Zack Maxwell/Arlington Voice)
    The entrance sign at S. J. Stovall Park. (Photo: Zack Maxwell/Arlington Voice)
Ken Costlow

Beginning Friday, new closure hours will go into effect at two of the most prominent parks in Arlington, according to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The curfew at S. J. Stovall Park will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, while the same closing hours will also apply at Richard Simpson Park at Lake Arlington.

However, the curfew for Richard Simpson Park will not apply to visitors who have permits for fishing, boating and any other activity authorized by permit in accordance with the “Parks and Recreation” chapter of the Code of Ordinances.

Violators of the new curfew will be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine of up to $500 for each offence. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offence.

The new curfews have come about because of feedback received by the City Council, Parks and Recreation Department and Parks and Recreation Board concerning loud music in the park, noise from cars in the park, noise from activity of park users, and illicit activity after 10 p.m.

There has been considerable discussion at City Council, Municipal Policy Committee, Parks and Recreation Board, Parks and Recreation Board Committee on Policy and Operations, and staff levels about this issue.

Among these, consensus was reached to change the closing hours while providing a transitional period to implement a public awareness campaign.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of changing the park closing time to 10 p.m. for both locations during its Dec. 5 meeting.