Drones and e-cigs seem ubiquitous. Should they be allowed in Tacoma parks? Tents?

Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park now open to the public

Get a first look at the new Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.
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Get a first look at the new Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.

We’re in a new age of drones and e-cigarettes.

It’s time park rules have caught up with the times, Metro Parks officials say.

For the first time in 10 years, Metro Parks has proposed changes to its park code.

The changes would ban the use of drones and e-cigarettes in parks across Tacoma.

“With the development of new parks and facilities as well as significant population growth and changing use trends, the park district is updating its park code to help ensure all park users and guests can enjoy their experience,’‘ Peter Mayer, deputy director of Metro Parks, said in a press release.

They would also prohibit any non-temporary “structures” in parks, like trailers, shacks, tents or anything with walls.

Also on the “leave at home” list? Sky lanterns and motorized model cars, cycles, trucks or watercraft.

The changes also target vaping, prohibiting vapor products or any other substances containing nicotine.

Other changes include:

Restricting electric scooters, e-bikes, mono-wheel devices, surreys, scooters and similar devices to designated roads, sidewalks, paths or trails

Authorizes the park district to adopt a code of conduct that regulates activities or behavior in parks to protect the public’s health and safety, to promote respect for the rights and needs of others, and to preserve park property

Mooring boats for no more than three nights within a 10-day period

Metro Parks is currently soliciting comments on the proposed changes. Comment period ends Aug. 28. There will be more comment opportunities in the coming months.

The Metro Parks board will consider the proposed changes in September. If approved, Tacoma City Council has the final say in October.

“These code changes are designed to give the park district and the Police Department, when necessary, some predictability and discretion in how to respond to situations where the behavior warrants,” said Marina Becker, Parks and Recreation Director for Metro Parks.

Metro Parks operates 70 parks totaling more than 2,900 acres in Tacoma. The newest park to open was Dune Park in July.