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City jams cork in beer, wine bottles

New rule prohibits all drinking in Sandy River Park, requires permits for other parks


The Sandy City Council has approved a request from the police and parks departments to place strict controls on the consumption of alcoholic beverages in city parks.

The ordinance received unanimous approval on its first and second readings Monday night, prohibiting drinking any alcoholic beverages at all times in Sandy River Park and requiring a permit for all other city parks.

Permits can be granted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for events or issued by the city for small gatherings.

Police Chief Kim Yamashita reminded councilors of the many complaints she receives from local residents when people have gathered in a park and after drinking have become disruptive.

“In addition to the complaints,” she stated in her staff report to the council, “I have safety concerns regarding drinking in and around the very cold, swift-moving (Sandy) river found in our newly annexed Sandy River Park.”

In that park, the new restrictions mean that fishermen will not be able to bring a beer to drink with their lunch. And beer parties by young adults will not be tolerated.

With the permits, issued in all parks except Sandy River Park, the city is notified of the time and place where drinking will occur, and police can respond with a greater presence. Yamashita says that presence makes these events “safe and enjoyable for everyone.”

Community Services Director Nancy Enabnit said the Parks Board wants city parks to be family friendly.

Councilors questioned the ability of the police officers to monitor people in the large Sandy River Park, but Yamashita said the department has an all-terrain vehicle at the high school that can be accessed quickly, and an officer can easily move around the park.

The ordinance prohibits all drinking in city parks except by OLCC permit or special events permit issued by the city. All permits allow only the consumption of alcoholic beverages by adults 21 or older.

For more information, call Yamashita at 503-668-5566 or Enabnit at 503-668-5569.