Read the current policy (PDF)
Read the proposed revisions (DRAFT PDF)
SURVEY CLOSED (4/23/2018): email email@example.com to submit additional comments]
For most of the questions asked in the survey, more than 50% of respondents agree with the proposed changes. This is the case both overall, and when divided out into three major age groups (40 and under; 41 to 60; and 61+).
In addition to the survey, DPR received numerous emails from the public and took feedback at a handful of neighborhood organizations meetings where a presentation was requested. The comments and questions received at these meetings is summarized in the report as well.
Current Public Hearing/Council Committee Schedule:
Denver Parks & Recreation's (DPR) alcohol policy was established in September 2007, and amended in May 2011, February 2012 and May 2012, resulting in the current policy which is overly-complicated and inconsistent.
In an effort to simplify how rules and regulations are enforced at DPR facilities across the city, a revision to the DPR Alcohol Policy is being proposed and your feedback is wanted.
The intent of these proposed revisions is to:
PROPOSED revision summary:
Read the full list of proposed revisions (DRAFT PDF)
Questions? Pease send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the policy being revised?
The purpose of the revisions is to eliminate inconsistencies that exist throughout the current policy, align the policy with changes to state liquor laws, and add a variety of restrictions and requirements. This uniformity will improve regulation and enforcement.
What does it mean to “permit” a park for an event?
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) issues a variety of permits to reserve all or a portion of a park for various activities. These include public events, races and walks, picnics, assemblies, athletics, etc. There are restrictions and requirements associated with a permit depending on the permit type, location, and the associated activity. To obtain a permit, an application must be submitted to the DPR Permitting Office that ensures that the request meets all restrictions and requirements. Details of the process along with the associated restrictions and requirements can be found at www.denvergov.org/permits.
What needs to be done to sell alcohol at an event?
If an event meets all DPR restrictions and requirements, a “Pending Permit” is issued. The applicant takes the “Pending Permit” to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses and applies for a liquor license. Denver Excise and Licenses processes the application and approves or denies the license request based on the applicable liquor laws.
What is required to get a liquor license?
Detailed requirements on what is needed for a liquor license can be found at: www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-business-licensing-center.html
Do the proposed changes to the DPR policy mean that I will be able to drink full strength beer in parks?
Currently, and until December 31, 2018, only 3.2% beer (in cans) can be consumed by the public in Denver parks which is based upon state liquor law. The Colorado State Legislature recently passed legislation enabling local municipalities to establish their own regulations governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. The legislation is currently on the governor’s desk awaiting signature. If signed, Denver will begin the process of establishing regulations with the intention of them being in place prior to the end of the year.
Do the proposed changes to the DPR policy mean that I will be able to drink any type of alcohol in parks?
The answer falls into two categories.
Do the proposed changes to the policy mean that our parks will have bars or facilities that sell alcohol in our parks and recreation centers to the public?
No. The proposed policy only addresses permitted activity and general consumption. Any commercial food and beverage is managed via a concession license and must be approved by Denver City Council.
Do proposed changes mean that there will be unlimited events in parks?
No. The proposed policy only governs what can occur at events in relation to alcoholic beverages. All rules and guidelines governing how many and what types of events can occur remain in place including DPR’s rest period program.
Will the number of races and runs in parks increase with the proposed policy changes?
DPR does not expect an increase in the number of races and runs in parks due to the proposed changes to the alcohol policy. However, DPR will monitor this issue and can implement additional limits beyond DPR’s rest period program if needed.
What implication will the proposed changes have on enforcement for Denver Park Rangers and Denver Police?
DPR has discussed the proposed policy changes with both DPR Park Rangers and Denver Police. We do not anticipate that these policy changes will result in significantly increased demand on these resources. We will be monitoring this and will modify the policy if the impact is excessive.
Would this policy change lead to competition with the bars and restaurants surrounding parks?
DPR does not believe this policy change will impact bars and restaurants surrounding parks. Only attendees would be able to purchase alcoholic beverages at an event, as is currently the case where alcoholic beverages are sold at events.
If the proposed changes are approved, will they be monitored over time?
Absolutely. All affected city agencies (DPR Permitting, DPR Park Rangers, Denver Police, Denver Excise and Licenses) will be monitoring any impacts of the new policy and a formal review will occur at the end of the 2019 event season. Modifications will be made to the policy at that time if necessary.
Will glass bottles still be prohibited?
Yes, glass bottles in the park will still be prohibited.
Will this impact me playing softball with our “beer league”?
As is currently the case, the permit holder (league organizer) cannot sell or serve alcoholic beverages. The ability for individual participants to bring their own alcoholic beverages will be governed by the “general public consumption” section of the policy (please see the answer to question #6).
How will the proposed rule of no alcohol within 50 feet of playgrounds work?
The distance between playgrounds and alcohol serving stations will be verified via a site map and/or an on-site, pre-event inspection.
Where do picnic sites fit into this policy change?
The sale or serving of alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in association with a picnic permit. Consumption of alcoholic beverages will be governed by the “general public consumption” section of the policy (please see the answer to question #5).
Is this being done to please commercial interests?
No. The only type of liquor license that is available for park events is a Special Event Liquor License and only non-profit organizations can obtain this license. Commercial entities cannot obtain this license.
Will DPR and the city make money from having more events with alcohol?
Permit fees collected are intended to cover the cost of administering events. Since DPR does not anticipate a significant increase in events, we do not expect the revenue associated with permits to increase.
Why do Washington Park and Sloan’s Lake have different rules in the first place?
There were specific circumstances in these parks when the alcohol policy was initially implemented that prompted the DPR Manager at the time to modify the rules for these parks.
Will kegs be allowed in the park?
No. Kegs will not be allowed in Denver parks.
Does City Council need to approve this policy change?
Denver City Council does not approve this change in this DPR policy. Under the Denver City Charter, rules and regulations for Parks and Recreations are promulgated by the Parks and Recreation Department. Denver City Charter vests the authority to establish rules and regulations for Parks and Recreation to the DPR Manager (Executive Director). City Council members, however, have been briefed and have provided input into the policy. A briefing will be made to the Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Council Committee prior to the policy’s formal adoption.
Will the policy change restrict public access to parks?
No. Events that require a ticket for entrance are governed by DPR’s Admission Based Event Policy.
A full copy of the Department of Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations is available for download (PDF). Violators of park rules and regulations are subject to fines and eviction from the park.
Park Use Rules and Regulations – Governing Public Activities, Uses and Behavior in Parks, Parkways, Mountain Parks, Recreation Facilities, and other Public Facilities under the Auspices of Denver Department of Parks and Recreation.
Administrative Citations Rules and Regulations – Governing Use of Administrative Citations for the Enforcement of Article I of Chapter 39 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code and associated Rules, Regulations and Directives
Amended and restated November 18, 2015: View administrative citation rules
This Policy is adopted by the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation (“DPR”) for the purpose of providing some clarity as to the designation status of and the protections afforded to Denver parks under the existing legal framework and to make clear the public process with respect to designation of Denver parks in accordance with the City Charter and City procedures.
Date: Wed. November 9
Location: Webb Municipal Building | Room 4.F.6
Notice is hereby given that the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation is drafting a new policy that would provide clarity as to the designation status of and the protections afforded to Denver parks under the existing legal framework and to make clear the public process with respect to designation of Denver parks in accordance with the City Charter and City procedures.
A copy of the proposed Park Designation Policy is on file with the Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation and is available for public inspection online. A public hearing will take place on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 during the regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which is held at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, located at 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6 at 5:30 p.m.
The Plan identifies core services, points out duplication in services, recommends service provision strategies, and recommends resource allocation and pricing strategies. It enhances partnerships and helps meet the future needs of Denver residents, and those who work in and visit the community.