Chief Jeff Groth proposes purchasing alcohol permits for those who want to drink in city parks

Snyder Park (off of Sunset Boulevard) could be one of the parks that formally allows alcohol.Sherwood officials are hoping to clarify language in their city code that would permit personal alcohol consumption in city parks with a permit.

Sherwood Police Chief Jeff Groth addressed the issue during an Oct. 17 Sherwood City Council work session, telling councilors that one part of city code allows residents to drink in parks, while another prohibits it.

To simplify the code, Groth proposed that the city charge a $25 permit fee that would allow residents to drink beer or wine in one of the city’s nine parks. The permit, for alcoholic beverages containing less than 19 percent alcohol by volume, would be valid for two days.

“It would not include hard liquor,” said Groth.

Large events where alcohol is sold would still require an Oregon Liquor Control Commission permit.

Groth said what he’d like to avoid is a situation during last summer’s Music on the Green concert series when someone was “partaking pretty heavily” in alcohol consumption.

Some of the discussion included whether the city should charge an additional $25 for a permit if someone had already rented a park shelter for the city’s $45 fee.

by: PHOTO BY RAY PITZ  - Current park rules display a portion of city code stating that alcohol use is prohibited. Also, Councilor Matt Langer questioned whether $25 (the amount the city of Tualatin charges for a one-day permit to consume alcohol in its parks) giving an example of a guy who is proposing to his fiancée in the park and wants to celebrate with a bottle of wine or champagne.

“I suppose the last thing we would ask him is, ‘do you have a permit?’” Groth said in response to the proposal scenario.

The chief explained that the $25 permit fee is simply an amount to start at and that the intention of new code language “is not to bust people” but to clean up murky code language.

“Tualatin waited too long,” said Groth. “Tualatin waited until they had problems in their park.”

The issue is expected to come before the city council in the future.

Another topic of the work session was the need to replace the turf soccer field at Synder Park. Sherwood Public Works Craig Sheldon said the projected life span of the field was between eight to 10 years. Synder Park’s artificial turf field is 12 years old and is up for replacement with costs estimated at $547,000. If approved, the field would be replaced next June or July.

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