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Lubbock City Council Passes Stricter Bounce House Regulations

Cole Shooter

At their meeting this week, the Lubbock City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance regarding regulations on inflatable bounce houses in city parks.

The council passed the second reading of the ordinance as originally considered on the first reading at their June 9th meeting, with a few amendments.

District 1 Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez put forth an amendment which still keeps bounce houses from neighborhood parks in Lubbock, except for Guadalupe Park. Hernandez took issue with banning the play equipment from Guadalupe Park, since it is only lined by homes on one side. Bounce houses will now be allowed in twenty-one parks in Lubbock.

There are 80 parks under the City of Lubbock’s control, not counting Lake Alan Henry. Some of the parks designated to allow inflatable play equipment include Aztlan, Mae Simmons, Mahon, Mackenzie, McAllister, Clapp, and the Buddy Holly Recreational Area, and Guadalupe.

The council also approved an amendment from District 5 Lubbock City Councilwoman Karen Gibson, which removed the requirement for a business operating a bounce house to have a trained representative on site. Under the new ordinance, a parent or other adult must be briefed on bounce house safety, and can be left to supervise.

Stripped from the ordinance was a maximum of twelve bounce houses being allowed in an approved park at any given time. Only one bounce house is to be operated in a park at a time.

Cole Shooter

The new regulations will require anyone operating a bounce house in a public park to have a minimum of $300,000 of insurance coverage. Hernandez raised the point that the bounce house industry standard nationwide is $1.3 million of insurance coverage, but did not press the issue further following an affirmation from Parks and Recreation Department Director Randy Truesdale that the insurance level designated by the ordinance was adequate.

Companies operating bounce houses will be required to obtain a permit for $25 from the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The second reading of the ordinance passed 5 to 2, Mayor Tom Martin and District 4 Councilman Paul Beane dissenting.

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