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Keep your clubs out of Farmington parks

From now on, golfers are going to have to find someplace other than Farmington parks if they want to get some extra practice. 

On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved an amendment to the ordinance that regulates prohibited activities in parks, effectively making it unlawful for anyone to practice their golf swing in the community’s parks.

The addition to the parks regulations ordinance prohibits anyone from using a golf club to “hit, chip, drive or otherwise propel a golf ball or other object in a city park.”

The ordinance amendment comes after resident complaints in 2008, and again in September. A resident living near Dakota County Estates had damage done to his home by errant golf balls that were hit outside of the 4.4-acre park.

The Farmington Parks and Recreation Commission took up the matter in October, parks and recreation director Randy Distad said. At the time, PARC members reviewed similar ordinances from other cities in Dakota County. Only Hastings and Mendota Heights did not have ordinances regulating golfing in parks.

“It’s not unique to other cities in Dakota County to make it unlawful to golf in city parks,” Distad said.

The item was forwarded to the city council for approval this week.

Signs will be placed in all 21 of Farmington’s city parks, at an estimated cost of $75 each, or $1,575 to cover all parks.

Though golfing in parks is now unlawful, it will be up to residents to report any such activity to police, Distad said.

With two golf courses nearby, he’s hoping golfers will take their practice time to the courses, instead of the parks.

“It’s not a driving range, it’s not a practice range. It’s a neighborhood park,” he said. “The park and rec commission felt (golfing) was not a conducive use, so they recommended to the city council there not be any golf in city parks.”

Violators of the ordinance could be subject to misdemeanor charges, and could face a penalty of up to a $700 fine and 90 days in jail.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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