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Springfield Park District v. Buckley

OPINION FILED JANUARY 28, 1986.

SPRINGFIELD PARK DISTRICT, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

PATRICK BUCKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. — SPRINGFIELD PARK DISTRICT, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

RAYMOND H. CHRISTIE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Jeanne E. Scott, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendants were charged in the circuit court of Sangamon County with violations of a Springfield park district (district) ordinance No. 209-83, which in effect prohibits the operation of motorcycles on park roadways. The cases were consolidated for hearing, and after motions to dismiss the citations were denied, both defendants were found guilty at a bench trial and fined $50. Defendants have appealed.

The facts are not in dispute. Both defendants admit that they violated the ordinance. However, they contest the validity of the ordinance itself, which provides:

"No person shall drive, ride, propel or operate any motorcycle, motor bike, motor scooter, motor propelled two wheel drive vehicle or snowmobile within any park or upon any drive or driveway within any park." (Springfield, Ill., Park District Ordinance No. 209.83, sec. 3.1 (1983).)

The ordinance was initially enacted in 1966 and reenacted in 1983.

At the hearing on the motion to dismiss, the major witness was Clifford Riley, who was called by the district. He had been employed by the district as its police chief from 1966 to the time of his retirement in 1978. He stated that the ordinance had been enacted in 1966 as a result of problems encountered by off-the-road operation of motorcycles in the park system. He explained that cyclists would sometimes leave the road system and enter picnic areas, posing danger to children playing there. He also maintained that the cyclists would cut across golf courses, leaving tracks on the putting greens. Speeding was also a problem, and enforcement of ordinances against speeding was difficult because the cyclists would cut through the parks in an effort to elude district police officers.

According to Riley, most of the problems arose in the middle 1960's with the advent of imported, two-cycle motorcycles designed for off-the-road operation. Defendants presented Jeffrey Norris, executive secretary of the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers' Association. He stated that in 1979 the Federal government had imposed emission pollution standards with such stringent requirements that two-cycle machines could no longer be sold in the United States. He explained that since that time there are only two classes of motorcycles: off-the-road dirt bikes which are not street-legal and motorcycles licensed for highway use.

Norris also stated that he had conducted a survey of downstate park districts similar in size to Springfield's and that none of these districts prohibited the use of motorcycles in their parks.

Defendants have raised principal arguments on appeal: (1) whether the District was empowered to enact the ordinance, and (2) assuming such power, whether the ordinance is overbroad and hence constitutionally impermissible.

• 1 As to the first, park districts are non-home-rule units of government and hence have only the powers delegated to them by the legislature. (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VII, sec. 8.) At issue are two sections of the Park District Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 105, par. 1-1 et seq.). Section 8-1(d) describes the general regulatory power of park districts:

"To pass all necessary ordinances, rules and regulations for the proper management and conduct of the business of the board and district and to establish by ordinance all needful rules and regulations for the government and protection of parks, boulevards and driveways and other property under its jurisdiction, and to effect the objects for which such districts are formed." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 105, par. 8-1(d).)

Section 8-7 grants park districts specific authority to control and regulate park driveways and provides in pertinent part:

"Any park district shall have power within its jurisdiction to designate by ordinance the whole or any part of two or more streets, roads, or, boulevards under the jurisdiction of any city, town or village within the boundaries of said district, as a public driveway, to be used for pleasure driving only; and also to lay out, establish, alter, extend, pave or otherwise improve and maintain the same and designate the same as pleasure driveways, to be used for pleasure driving only. Such park districts may, by ordinance, regulate, restrain and control the speed of travel upon the same, and in all things may regulate, restrain and control the use of said pleasure driveways and parks by the public or individuals, and may exclude therefrom funeral processions or anything other than pleasure vehicles; provided, that any and all roads, streets, boulevards or parks lying wholly or in part within the corporate limits of any city, town or village situated within any park district shall first, from and after the organization of such district, by ordinance of such city, town or village be turned over and placed under the control of such park district and accepted, by ordinance, by such district." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 105, par. 8-7.

The interrelationship of these sections requires an examination of the history of the Code. This is set forth in Hoff, History of the Park District Code (Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 105, pages XIII-XIX (Smith-Hurd 1952)). From this it will be seen that the District was organized in 1900 as "The Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Springfield" pursuant to "An Act to provide for the creation of pleasure driveway and park districts" approved June 19, 1893. Hoff ...


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