City of Houston
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  1. #1

    Jan 2013
    408
    490 times

    City of Houston

    Hey guys, I received the following email from the a city deputy,
    "The Houston Parks Department does not allow metal detectors in parks. This is consistent with code for state park operating rules and protects the natural resources of parks as well as any potential archeological sites. Additionally any items found in City (park) property belong to City."

    What do you guys think

    Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else I can assist with.


    Best,
    Dave
    ___________________

  2. #2

    Jan 2013
    408
    490 times
    And is there anyone who detects in the houston area? And have you ever had any problems? Thanks!

  3. #3
    us
    Jul 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Garrett 250
    5,361
    3498 times
    Research/Limited field work
    Knew I never wanted to live in Houston.

  4. #4

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    13,667
    10073 times
    Banner Finds (4)

    reply

    Quote Originally Posted by hughmaster10 View Post
    Hey guys, I received the following email from the a city deputy,
    "The Houston Parks Department does not allow metal detectors in parks. This is consistent with code for state park operating rules and protects the natural resources of parks as well as any potential archeological sites. Additionally any items found in City (park) property belong to City."

    What do you guys think

    Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else I can assist with.


    Best,
    Dave
    ___________________
    Dave, please tell us: What precipitated this email from them, to you? I'm assuming you must've sent an inquiry to them? If so, how did you word it? Because I notice that they do not cite any actual Houstan municipal code, rule, or law, to back up their "no" answer. Instead, they allude to state-level laws (perhaps for state-of-texas owned parks).

    If this is their rationale, that state park rules necessarily subrogate down to city owned parks (since cities are within states), they are mistaken. City (and county) parks differ on rules ALL THE TIME from state's parks! For example: a city park may allow dogs off leash (or simply have nothing at all addressing leashes vs no leashes), while state parks might require leashes. Or fireworks vs no fireworks. Or parks close at sunset vs over-night camping ......... or .... WHATEVER. There is nothing that says that rules regarding state parks necessarily govern city parks. They frequently have rules that differ, all the time.

    If there is no Houstan city park rule saying such a thing, I believe you are the latest victim of the "no one cared till you asked" psychology. And now they must address this "pressing question", so they morph something else to apply, etc... I suggest you go to this recent T'net thread, to see how this oft-repeated story works. Here's the link: Ban detecting

    If I'm wrong, and there's an actual rule, then so be it (which is odd they didn't cite it, but instead went on grasping at other straws, so I bet there's no such rule).

    As far as the part about items found on public property, belonging to the public entity that owns said-property, ...... well sure! I suppose this could be said of ANY level of public land, anywhere. But a quick look at any md'ing "finds" forum, shows md'rs find coins, rings, etc... all the time (yup, even in city sandboxes, beaches, parks, school yards, etc...), and .... no one seems to care. But let's say, for example, that any of us finds a 1916d mercury dime, or a 1901s vdb cent from the city sandbox. Let's say you walk into city hall, and say "Hi, I found this on city property, and it's worth $500. Is it ok if I keep it for my own fun and enjoyment, or sell it on ebay, or does it instead belong to the city, to put in the city museum, for all to enjoy? Is it ok if I keep it?". I bet you that 99 times out of 100, that city person (perhaps passing the pressing question to the city lawyer, etc ...) would say "No, you must give the coin to us". But as I say, I don't know of any of us md'rs rushing to give our coins and items to various public entities. And I suppose there's even verbage disallowing "collecting", "harvesting", "taking", etc...., that if you asked long enough and hard enough, sure someone could say a single coin or ring or whatever falls afoul of this. But realistically speaking, such verbage was written (long before md'ing), so no one would think they can back up their truck to the park and take all the tanbark, flowers, or whatever. Was it ever meant to apply to md'ing? Does anyone really care or think of such silly connections? Probably not. But if you asked enough city lawyers "can I?" I'm sure you'll eventually find one to say "no you can't".

    Sorry for the rant, but this is becoming an all-too-common scenario. And the sad part becomes, is that whomever sends you such a reply, guess what will happen the next time that person sees another person with a detector? They'll remember the earlier inquiry, and think "aha, there's one of THEM" and start booting others. I've seen this happen at places no one ever had a problem before. Or they actually make a rule (or a "policy" of practice anyhow), once they receive such "pressing questions", when ..... no one had ever cared before.

    So the best way was to have looked it up for yourself. Certainly a city the size of Houstan must have a city website, where their muni codes, park rules, etc... are listed. If it was silent on the subject (nothing saying "no metal detecting"), then presto, there was your answer.
    Last edited by Tom_in_CA; Jan 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM.

 

 

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