The spruced-up Miller Park will retain opening and closing hours, though some City Council members said it functions as the city's Town Square.
Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod said the park is the "front porch" for Patten Towers residents. She said, "It would be open all night if it was up to me."
Chairman Ken Smith outlined a process council members could consider for doing away with park hours, making it "open 24 hours as a public square." However, no one made a move in that direction as a revised park ordinance passed unanimously on Tuesday night.
Officials said the new ordinance will be reviewed after six months and some revisions may be made then.
Miller Park reopens Sept. 14 after a $10.6 million do-over.
City Attorney Phil Noblett said, since a shooting in Coolidge Park in 1992, city park hours have been 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
They can be extended when there are lighted events going on.
Park officials said there are rules so "you can't camp out or spend the night."
Councilwoman Berz said she wondered how people can be stopped "from criss-crossing the park" at all hours. Officials indicated that could continue as long as there is no camping out.
Councilman Anthony Byrd said there was a "thin line" on rules for park use, noting that "some people don't mind if they make a bed and spend the night."
Councilwoman Coonrod said, "If I work third shift I might want to chill at the park at 3 or 4 in the morning."
The new ordinance says:
The rules and regulations set out in this article shall govern the use of the pavilion, stage
area, raised terrace and rock outcropping, lawn, and/or audio/visual equipment in Miller Park.
(a) The following are prohibited within Miller Park:
• Alcoholic beverages unless a temporary permit has been obtained from the
Chattanooga Beer Board
• Entrance to closed areas
• Littering and dumping
• Motorized vehicles except wheelchairs
• Skateboarding or rollerblading
• Pets not on a leash
• Plant removal or destruction
• Smoking or vaping
• The placement of stakes or posts in lawn
• Panhandling as prohibited by Chapter 25, Article I, Sec. 25-39 of the Chattanooga
• Use of chalk and graffiti
• Vending without a permit
(b) Pets must be properly leashed, licensed, and vaccinated. Owners must remove their pet’s
waste. All droppings must be bagged before depositing in provided receptacles.
Sec. 26-58. - Rental Rates and Fees for Miller Park.
The following rental rates and fee schedule shall apply to Miller Park:
Miller Park Fee Schedule Deposit
Hourly Rate, including setup/breakdown (Full lawn space and stage in front of pavilion only -
Pavilion & accompanying amenities priced separately) - $150 per hour to maximum $1,000 per day
Miller Park Lawn (less than half lawn / stage included) (Need agreement signed understanding
park is open to public) $100 deposit. $50 per hour to maximum $500 per day.
Pavilion Rental Rate $100 deposit. $150 per hour to maximum $1,000 per day.