APPLE VALLEY — It may soon be OK to ride a bicycle on paths in Apple Valley’s parks, if the Town Council approves an updated ordinance tonight.

The update will outlaw smoking, increase safety requirements in the skate park and clarify penalties for violating codes, but give a bit more leeway to bicyclists and skateboarders who are using the park’s paved pathways responsibly. Town officials said the ordinance essentially makes official several policies they’ve already been trying to enforce.

“We want to make sure we are encouraging the right uses of our parks,” Councilman Scott Nassif said.

Under the Town’s current code, residents are not allowed to ride bikes or skateboards in parks at all. But the new ordinance says it is only a violation if the rider causes or potentially causes damage.

“Riding a bike or skateboard in a safe manner on paved paths, etc. would not be a violation,” the proposed code states.

“You can ride to the library, but you can’t ride in the library,” Mayor Tim Jasper said. “There are walkways and bike paths available to ride to and from the parks, and we certainly want that to happen. But if they get off on the grass and knock over sprinklers or damage the concrete, that’s the type of behavior we want to put a stop to,” Jasper said.

“I think it’s a good thing. It’s a real good thing,” said James De Benedetti, who was recently reimbursed $25 he had paid for his son allegedly riding in a town park. He said the fine was returned after his son couldn’t be identified on videotapes during a town hearing. The town said they determined the 30-day confiscation they had put on his bike was punishment enough.

“This is good news, but there’s still a lot things that can be done,” De Benedetti, said. “They have to adapt to the younger generation or they’re going to drive people out of Apple Valley.”

Other changes will help the town’s code conform to state law. This includes requiring complete safety gear in the skate park, including elbow and knee pads.

Smoking will also be outlawed in all Apple Valley parks except designated areas, if the ordinance passes. Jasper said this is to protect the health of children in the parks, and to encourage attendance at family events.

The new ordinance would also give code enforcement officers more freedom to determine the penalty for those who violate park codes, with the ability to issue a citation from $25 to $100 for a first offense, depending on the amount of damage the behavior causes.

“I don’t think they should have more authority than they have,” De Benedetti said. With all of the money spent on a hearing and communications over his returned $25 fine, and salaries for the ever-increasing code enforcement officers, he said they could hire another police officer or more animal control officers, to take care of issues that truly plague the town.

Source: Brooke Edwards,