Tag: County

Sonoma County supervisors extend vacation rental cap to December

Sonoma County will keep in place at least through the end of the year a cap on the number of vacation rentals allowed to operate outside of cities, as county supervisors Tuesday sought to buy time before potentially imposing a longer-lasting limit.

The measure, adopted on an emergency basis, extends the temporary countywide cap of 1,948 vacation rental properties enacted by the board Aug. 18, but it does so on a shorter timeline. A proposal by staff would have kept the limit in place for up to 22 months.

The limit also has some wiggle room, part of what Supervisor Lynda Hopkins called “a very messy compromise,” that could have the board revisit the cap if it is reached between now and the end of 2020.

Hopkins spurred the wider discussion, with support from Supervisor Susan Gorin, the board chair. The two represent opposite sides of the county, the west and east, with the highest concentration of vacation rentals outside of cities.

The measure is intended to prevent transformation of a wider share of existing housing into short-term rentals, ensuring more homes remain for residents.

Industry groups have generally bristled at such limits and the board has balked in previous years at setting a hard cap on vacation rentals, wary of their value for property owners and the tourism-dependent local economy.

The full board was split over a cap and eventually settled on a compromise crafted by Hopkins: a shorter-term limit and the option of revisiting it before December if necessary to accommodate new applicants.

County staff, however, have pointed to at least 400 idle permits that could potentially be purged to open up more slots. They said it was unlikely new applicants would be denied in the next three months due to any constraints imposed by the cap.

The short-term limits are the first step in a planning effort expected to take at least a year. Staff members also promised to come back with more data in March before being able to craft a comprehensive strategy in the fall of 2021 at the earliest.

Gore said he would not support extending the cap beyond the first of the year. Zane said the county should be welcoming tourists back into Sonoma County, and a cap sends the wrong message. Rabbitt questioned whether the new regulation would resolve any of the long-standing issues with housing.

“I’ve never been a fan of moratoriums,” Rabbitt said. “I think they’re the absolute last nuclear option when it comes to land use. It’s the wrong way to go. I think the duty when a moratorium is brought forward is to move expeditiously forward to help solve the problem. But we haven’t identified what the problem is.”

For Hopkins and Gorin, the problem is two-fold: First, a dense concentration of vacation rentals along the lower Russian River and in the Sonoma Valley, leading to complaints of noise, traffic and general decline in quality of life; and second, their concerns about the proliferation of vacation rentals and

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New Cross Park in Pierce County blends local history with modern recreation

Cross Park has turned two historic dairy barns into a community center. (Pierce County Parks)

For many during the COVID-19 pandemic, walks outdoors have become the only chance to get out of the house in any given day — so residents of Frederickson will now have a new option for that daily breath of fresh air at Stan and Joan Cross Park.

Stan and Joan Cross Park is the first public park in the community of Frederickson, which lies between Spanaway and South Hill.

“This park is filling a gap for the community that lives the miles around here, but it’s also a very unique site,” said Roxanne Miles, director of Pierce County Parks and Recreation.

The park may be new, but it lets you step back in time and have a history lesson with your nature walk in the form of two 1930s dairy barns. The green space is on the site of the former Mayflower Dairy farm, a landmark in the community 80 years ago.

Live in the center of Seattle’s Discovery Park, in one of 26 historic Fort Lawton homes

“We actually lifted up the two historic barns, fit them back together, refurbished them, and then built a modern community center inside of it,” said Benjamin Barrett, capital projects manager for Pierce County Parks and Recreation.


To keep things sustainable, many of the original parts of the Mayflower Dairy barns were kept and incorporated in the design.

The park also includes a playground, pathways to walk, and picnic areas. During the pandemic, Pierce County Parks regulations state that people should stay out of picnic shelters, and children should not play with anyone outside their household on the same playground structure.

To view the virtual grand opening, visit the Pierce County website.

Cross Park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the winter.

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Emmet County could increase 2 recreation amenity fees | Featured-pnr

ALLISON — Visitors using a couple of Emmet County Parks and Recreation amenities might see a small increase in fees starting next year.

Emmet County commissioners are considering bumping up the prices for campsite rentals at Camp Petosega and annual passes for the Crooked River Locks. The proposal was originally drafted by Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Bauman, and recommended by a majority of members on the county parks and recreation committee.

For Camp Petosega, that means an increase from $30 to $35 for regular campsites. Full-hookup sites would remain at their current level of $40.

The fees, at their current levels, are on the low end of average.

“With the $5 increase, we’re not substantially higher, either,” county administrator Mike Reaves said at a previous Emmet County meeting. “I’d say we’re right in the average. I think we’re priced appropriately.

For comparison, the fees for comparable sites at nearby parks include: $33 at Petoskey State Park, $30 at Burt Lake State Park, $35 during peak season at Magnus Park, and $43 at Indian River RV Resort campground, according to data collected by the parks and recreation department.

Part of the impetus for the change has to do with difficulties hiring parks and recreation staff members this year.

“We’re having trouble hiring people because everybody’s paying more, especially for parks and rec,” county board of commissioners chair Bill Shorter said. “So monies like this could be utilized into the parks and rec fund, possibly for getting a little higher wages. We’ve had a horrible shortage all summer.”

Despite that, county officials say demand at park facilities remains high.

As of the start of this month, Camp Petosega had seen 1,789 visitors so far in 2020. Numbers have remained high in spite of — or, in some ways, because of — the conditions brought on by COVID-19.

The shutdown earlier in 2020 meant the park didn’t have a full year, but officials said rentals were high once the campground reopened because the outdoor nature of camping made it a particularly suitable getaway option.

Officials don’t predict the increase will hurt revenues.

“That was one of the concerns the (parks and recreation) board,” Reaves said. “You’re going to be surprised what we turn out in terms of revenue share, because people didn’t have other options. I think it will not harm us at all.”

About 32 percent of Michigan residents attending the campground were Emmet County residents.

For the Crooked River Locks, commissioners are looking to increase annual fees from $30 to $45, matching the fee for a comparable lock operation in Cheboygan.

Daily fees would not change.

The fees at the locks have remained the same since Emmet County took over operations from the Army Corps of Engineers in 2013.

This year, there were 700 annual passes purchased, and 1,760 daily passes.

Emmet County commissioners reviewed the proposal to adjust fees last week, but are not slated to make a final decision until their meeting this week.

That meeting will begin

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Vacation Rentals In Sonoma County: Supervisors Extend Cap

By Jeremy Hay, Bay City News Foundation

SONOMA COUNTY, CA — Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday reached an agreement to extend for three months a cap on the number of vacation rentals in the county, a far cry from the 22 months staff had sought. The unanimous vote kept the ceiling for the number of vacation rentals at 1,948 — the number of existing permitted rentals — until mid-December.

The cap was adopted as an urgency ordinance that the board approved Aug. 18 and that was to expire Oct. 2. The cap applies only to the unincorporated areas of the county, not its cities.

The Tuesday vote came about through a last-minute compromise that overcame the objections of three supervisors who were leaning against extending the cap at all.

Under the proposal fashioned by Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, the countywide limit expires in December but at that time, county staff is to present a new proposal addressing only those areas of the county most impacted by vacation rentals, the Russian River and Sonoma Valley.

The board on Tuesday at first appeared poised to reject entirely on a 3-2 vote the proposal to extend the cap.

“I want to help you solve your problems within those distinct areas in your district but I don’t think a moratorium and the extension of a moratorium is the answer,” Supervisor David Rabbitt said to Hopkins and Supervisor Susan Gorin, the board chairperson, whose district includes Sonoma Valley.

But one last attempt by Hopkins — whose district includes the Russian River communities of Guerneville, Forestville, Monte Rio and Rio Nido — to fashion a short-term solution won out.

“This isn’t a black and white issue,” she said, responding to complaints that the proposed cap could hurt the local economy, especially the tourism sector, was unfair to individual property owners, and was a blanket solution to a problem impacting only certain parts of the county. Both she and Gorin — whose Sonoma Valley district has the most vacation rentals in the county —acknowledged that a countywide cap was an imperfect tool.

“We do have a problem,” Hopkins said. “How do we go about approaching that problem in a more targeted way.”

She described the lower Russian River as being once a place of holiday cabins and vacationing San Francisco residents but that has evolved into a year-round “live and work” community that is starting to “erode” under the pressure of vacation rentals.

Gorin said, “I’m not necessarily supportive of this approach, never have been, it’s an urgency mechanism to tackle some of the issues … I would be looking for a way to put a cap on those areas that we have identified temporarily.”

A Saturday party at a vacation rental in Gorin’s district led to gunfire that hit five homes; no one was injured. But the other supervisors made clear they wouldn’t be on board with the countywide cap for much longer.

“Coming back, I’m not going to be voting to keep my district in a

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Union County Provides Open Space Grants for Recreation, Trees

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to 19 municipalities for improvements to recreation resources for children, through the Kid’s Recreation Trust Fund. In addition, 14 municipalities were awarded matching grants for planting new trees through the Greening Union County program. Both grant programs are funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“Since first established in 2000, the Open Space Trust Fund has enabled Union County residents of all ages to enjoy continued improvements in public recreation resources and local treescapes, in addition to historic preservation projects,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to carry on this mission as the Trust Fund attains its 20th year of service to the public.”

The Open Space Trust Fund was established by popular referendum in 2000, with an initial focus on preserving open space and improving the Union County park system. In 2004 the mission expanded to include annual matching grants to municipalities for improving local children’s recreation resources, and matching grants to encourage municipalities to plant new trees.

Since its inception in 2004, the Kids Recreation Trust Fund has provided local communities with almost $18.7 million in funding.

The following municipalities received grants from the 2020 round of the Kids Recreation Trust Fund:

  • Berkeley Heights: $50,000 to install new play area at the new municipal complex 29 Park Avenue, and to resurface tennis courts and bleacher pad at Columbia Middle School Softball field.. As part of the Columbia project, PAL will add gates to dugout fencing.
  • Clark: $16,029 for improvements to the Nelson and Dolan Girls Softball fields and facilities, and for replacing the flooring the Senior Fitness Center.
  • Cranford: $65,000 for renovation of indoor tennis court, upgrades to the Memorial and Centennial Avenue Pool, and resurfacing of basketball courts at the Adams, Buchanan, and Johnson parks.
  • Elizabeth: $115,000 for ADA compliant improvements to the Kellogg Park playground.
  • Fanwood: $40,000 for Master Plans to improve Forest Road Park.
  • Garwood: $3,362 for a deep clean of the turf field at the Garwood Sports and Recreation Complex, and for the purchase of field hockey goals.
  • Kenilworth: $75,000 for removal and remediation of asbestos tile in the recreation building, and for removal of tennis courts.
  • Linden: $70,000 for reconstruction of the tennis courts at Dr. Martin Luther King Park.
  • Mountainside: $30,000 for upgrades to playground, and renovations to the Deerfield softball and baseball Fields.
  • New Providence: $40,000 for modifications to the walking path surrounding the Recreational Complex
  • Plainfield: $90,000 for the installation of new lighting at the basketball courts in Rushmore Park.
  • Rahway: $25,645 for milling, resurfacing, color coating, relining, and adding ADA access to the basketball court at Howard Field.
  • Roselle: $75,000 for Phase II of improvements at Grove Street Park, with new toddler playground that meets State of New Jersey safety requirements.
  • Roselle Park: $50,000for
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Public input sought for Vernon County Outdoor Recreation Plan | News

Vernon County is in the process of updating its Outdoor Recreation Plan and is looking for public participation in a short survey.

The purpose of the Vernon County Outdoor Recreation Plan is to identify issues, opportunities, needs and organize public policy to address them in a manner that makes the best and most appropriate use of county resources. It will also describe a desired future for community outdoor recreation over the next five years and establish goals to move toward that future.

“In addition to tourism economic impacts for our local communities, outdoor recreation is a significant industry driving Vernon County’s economy and providing quality of life for our residents. Being strategic about updating this plan for improving our current and enhancing our future outdoor recreation is a great step,” says Christina Dollhausen, Vernon County’s Economic Development & Tourism Coordinator.

Vernon County’s Outdoor Recreation Plan is actively being developed with participation by county committees, outdoor recreation entities countywide and most importantly, the community. The county would appreciate people’s participation by filling out the Outdoor Recreation survey by or before Nov. 3. The survey may take 5 minutes to complete.

The survey link can be found on vernoncounty.org under Parks and Forests or click on the following like to take the survey here: https://vernon-county-outdoor-mrrpc.hub.arcgis.com/

Responses will be anonymous.

Please share widely and encourage others to take the survey on or before Nov. 3 to help describe a desired future for Vernon County outdoor recreation.

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Winter Fun With Wright County Parks & Recreation

October 14, 2020

It has been an interesting year, to say the least, and here at Wright County Parks and Recreation we have been working hard to come up with a plan to provide some activities for you to get out and “Explore the Opportunities” with us. You will notice that we are still offering our normal slate of winter activities this year, but there are some modifications to them as we had to adjust to the state guidance for COVID-19. This is an exciting moment for us as a department to announce these activities and our plans, and we hope that you are excited as well.

First off, the Nature Center at Robert Ney Regional Park will open for winter operations starting January 2, 2021. Hours of operation are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 pm. This is no different than in years past. Bathrooms in the building will be cleaned before opening and again at approximately 2 pm. We do require a face covering to enter the facility and plexiglass barriers will be installed at the rental counter for the protection of you and our staff. No equipment will be rented out twice during a day and all equipment that has been used will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day, so they are ready for use the next user. This will allow for approximately 18 hours of time between use on Saturday to Sunday.

Dog Sledding is scheduled for January 8 & 9, 2021, and this year we will be hosting this event at the East Unit of Robert Ney Regional Park. Due to restrictions limiting the amount of people we can have inside the Nature Center it was not feasible to host this event in its normal format. This year we are registering six people in each half our time slot for each two-hour session, we will not have the presentation before the ride as has been done is previous years. With that being said, you will get to experience a longer ride with the musher in a different part of the park that has not been used for this activity. Things to note. There will not be hot chocolate, coffee, cider, or snacks available this year at any event. We will have a fire going so that once your ride is completed you can hang out with us for a bit. There will be no indoor facility to use this year some come prepared, dress appropriately for weather conditions. Children ages 5 and under are free with a paid adult. The two-hour sessions are Friday, January 8, 2021 from 4-6 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm and then again on Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 8:30-10:30 am, 11 am-1 pm, and 2-4 pm.

For our Lantern Cross Country Ski events on January 23 and February 20, 2021 you will need to reserve rental equipment in advance if you don’t have your own. Equipment is limited so reservations will be taken until equipment is

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Kent County Parks and Recreation schedules and information

Welcome to Kent County Parks and Recreation at the Kent County Community Center.

At Kent County Parks and Recreation (KCPR) we strive to provide fun, safe, family oriented recreational activities and programs that promote wellness and build community ties. Parks and Recreation offers traditional activities, such as after school, summer camp, fitness classes, tumbling, and special events, as well as partnering in programming to offer certification classes, bird watching, canoeing, and hiking, to meet the needs of our patrons.

If you have questions about any of our programs, parks, or recreational activities, please use our website or feel free to contact us by email or phone.  We are happy to help you and your family get out there and be active!  At Kent County Parks and Recreation we are always working had so you can play hard!  


View the full registration policies here.

To register for a program or activity, registration is accepted *online, in person and by mail. Registration is accepted on a first come first served basis. A separate registration/form is required for each participant unless noted otherwise with the program description. Paper forms are not necessary if registering online (if online registration is available for the program) or in person. Many of our programs have multiple pages to be completed and may be downloaded from the program information section on this site. Before completing a paper general registration form/packet, please confirm it is the correct form for the program for which you are registering.

*Online registration requires a nominal processing fee for the convenience of online credit card and electronic check payments.

To register online click below.


Weather closing information and general announcements are posted on the Parks and Recreation home page bulletin board, the Kent County Community Center Facebook Page and our Rainout Line at 410-429-1401 or visit https://rainoutline.com/search/dnis/4104291401 (usually no later than 7:30 am or 3 pm for evening programs the day in question when weather related).


In general, if Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) are closed, close early, or cancel evening programs, all programs at public school sites are closed. Kent County Parks and Recreation (KCPR) youth programs at the Kent County Community Center (KCCC) and KCPR facilities are closed when county facilities remain *open. KCPR adult programs at county facilities will be open when county facilities remain *open. If KCPS are one hour or 90 minutes late, morning programs will be open. *If KCPS are two hours late, morning programs will be closed. These general policies do not necessarily apply to programs offered by private vendors (please refer to program description) at the Community Center as they determine their opening and closing schedules when the Community Center remains *open on a normal operating schedule when there is inclement weather.

*All programs are closed when the Snow Emergency Plan or the State of Emergency Plan is in effect, however, should Plan(s) be lifted by 2 pm, evening adult programs

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Vacation rental ban could cause ‘irreversible’ damage to Franklin County tourism


With peak beach season around the corner, owners of vacation housing companies in Franklin County are worried that a continued prohibition on rentals will all but kill their business. (Photo: Cara Fleischer)

With peak beach season around the corner, owners of vacation housing companies in Franklin County are worried that a continued prohibition on rentals will all but kill their business.

The ban, extended until Phase 2 of reopening the state begins in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, excludes hotels, motels, inns, resorts and long-term rentals, a caveat that is drawing ire from at least one rental company on St. George Island.

“We are the working people who help fuel the economy in many panhandle counties and we will help lead the economic recovery,” wrote Alice D. Collins, the president of Collins Vacation Rentals in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis. “We support your efforts and appreciate all that you are doing, but our tourist community is furious over this disparate treatment and we respectfully ask you to reconsider before the damage is irreversible.”

Related opinion: Vacation rental ban will decimate Franklin County, St. George Island | Opinion

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Tourists enjoy a morning at the beach on St. George Island early Saturday morning, Oct. 12, 2019.  (Photo: Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat)

Collins, who has operated her business on the island since 1973, said the ban inhibits her and other vacation rental businesses but has a cascading effect on others, from restaurant and grocery workers to cleaning services and plumbers, that rely on tourism.

The reopening plan allows restaurants to have a 25% capacity on indoor seating and to allow socially distanced outdoor diners. It also permits retail establishments to operate at 25% capacity.

She pointed to the hazards associated with hotels – shared lobbies, pools, dining areas, elevators and the proximity of rooms – and asked that two “poison pills” outlined in the Phase 2 reopening guidelines be amended.

The guidelines prohibit rentals to anyone traveling internationally or from an area with substantial community spread of the virus and would require a three-day wait time between guest arrivals.

“The provision requiring 72 hours between guests is irrational and not based on sound science. If it were, it would be equally applied to others in the hospitality industry who pose an equally if not more significant public health threat than vacation rentals,” Collins wrote. “Second, the ban on out-of-state renters is a disaster.”

The island, which brings in 60% of the tourism revenue of the coastal county, is geographically isolated, making it a popular driving destination for people from surrounding states. Add in the slow return of vacation rentals following Hurricane Michael in 2018, and the ban adds additional strain on the county’s income. 

Franklin County officials opened beaches last week with limited hours at sunrise and sunset, but Memorial Day weekend and the summer months are typically when Panhandle communities bring in most of their revenue

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Howard County, Maryland > Departments > Recreation and Parks

For information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) please click here


Friday, April 17, 2020

Ensuring the continued health and safety of residents and visitors is our top priority. Howard County Recreation & Parks is working closely with county administration, the Howard County Health Department, and other local agencies as we are continuing to monitor and take protective measures against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The April Recreation & Parks Advisory Board Meeting has been cancelled.

Ways to find the most up-to-date information on HC Recreation & Parks Closures


The following recreational areas are closed to encourage social distancing and discourage any gatherings at parks.

  • Basketball courts
  • Disc golf courses
  • Pickleball courts
  • Playgrounds 
  • Recreational Boating at Centennial Lake
  • Rockburn Skills Park
  • Skate parks
  • Tennis courts
  • Volleyball courts
  • Worthington Dog Park
  • Park gates are closed. (Please see https://bit.ly/2IYCxfs for clarification.) Parks gates will remain closed, but the parks will be available for people to walk, run, hike or bike as long as they are practicing social distancing.

The following are not running/are not open through May 15, 2020.

  • All Programs, Classes & Events
  • Leagues
  • Rentals
  • Large events, gatherings, and pavilion rentals 
  • Howard County Recreation & Parks (HCRP) indoor facilities are not open to the public. (This includes HCRP headquarters, Roger Carter Community Center, Gary J. Arthur Community Center, North Laurel Community Center, Robinson Nature Center, Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum, Firehouse Museum, Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, Belmont Manor & Historic Park and more.)

Weddings are cancelled until June 1, 2020.


Timbers at Troy is currently closed.

This includes golf operations, clubhouse, golf course and driving range. They will continue to maintain the golf course; however it is not be open for play until further notice. 


Wine In The Woods (was to be held on May 16-17, 2020) is cancelled.

Ticket holders can expect a refund within 7-10 business days. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Commonly Asked Questions

I want to register for the 2020-2021 Recreational Licensed Child Care program. When is registration beginning for this?

For the most up-to-date information, please visit on our Child Care Page. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 Recreational Licensed Child Care program began on April 1, 2020 at 8am. Due to COVID-19, our staff’s ability to take calls will be limited. Please register online (https://apm.activecommunities.com/howardcounty/) if possible. Your patience is greatly appreciated. 


Do I have to pay for the classes, lessons or programs I miss during this time of closure?

No. Either the missed classes will be made up or you will be given a refund for missed classes. 


I paid for an event that is now cancelled.

We will be issuing refunds for all cancelled events and programs. 


I have paid for a gym, facility, or Robinson Nature Center membership that is currently closed. Will I be reimbursed?

Starting Tuesday, April 14, Howard County Recreation & Parks will stop automatic charges for fitness or pool memberships at the Roger Carter, North Laurel and Gary J. Arthur Community Centers.  For

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