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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

4 Pa. Code § 86.5. Policy governing the exterior public areas of the Capitol Complex.

§ 86.5. Policy governing the exterior public areas of the Capitol Complex.

 In its administration, operation and preservation of the Capitol Complex, the policy of the Department relating to the public use of the exterior public areas of the Capitol Complex will be as stated in this section.

   (1)  Hours. To maintain the security, safety and aesthetic appearance of the Capitol, Capitol grounds and the Capitol Complex, and to provide for regular maintenance, improvements or alterations, scheduled events or exhibits on the Capitol grounds shall occur only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on a daily basis, and may not block any entrance or exit of the building or impede free access to the building by its occupants, the public or emergency apparatus. When either house of the Legislature or a Legislative committee is in session prior to 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m., the grounds shall be open with the commencement of the session and closed 2 hours after adjournment of the Senate, House of Representatives or Legislative committee.

   (2)  Damage to Commonwealth property. Defacing or damaging in any manner the Capitol grounds, including (without limitation) trees, shrubbery, flowers, lawns, sidewalks, fences, lighting fixtures, light wells, fire hydrants, benches, statues, monuments, plaques and subterranean features that are necessary for the maintenance and operation of the Capitol (such as lawn sprinkler systems, sewer and water mains, electrical conduit, and the like), or any other feature is not allowed. Likewise, defacing or damaging the exterior walls and surfaces of the building, including the entrances, porches and staircases, is not allowed.

   (3)  Limitations applicable to certain Commonwealth property. Stepping or climbing upon statues, monuments, fences, lighting fixtures, light wells, trees or parts of the buildings and grounds within the Capitol Complex not intended for these purposes is not allowed.

   (4)  Demonstrations and leafleting. Picketing, demonstrations and the distribution of literature may not impede or interfere with Commonwealth business or public access to and use of the buildings within the Capitol Complex. To inform individuals and organizations of the procedures for the use of public areas of the buildings within the Capitol Complex and grounds, it is recommended, but not required, that individuals and organizations desiring to distribute literature on the Capitol Complex grounds inform the Secretary of the date and time of the planned activity. To ensure the unimpeded conduct of public business, unobstructed access to the buildings within the Capitol Complex for occupants and the public, and to maintain the Capitol grounds, the Secretary may designate specific areas of the grounds for picketing and the distribution of literature. The Secretary’s criteria for making designations will apply equally to all activities regardless of the content of any communications. Individuals distributing literature shall remove all discarded items from the grounds at the conclusion of their activity.

   (5)  Driving stakes or other items into the ground prohibited. Due to the presence of underground utility, electrical and drainage lines, signs or banners may not be driven into the ground, nor may they be supported in or by any tree, monument or other structure affixed to the Capitol grounds, except as authorized by the Secretary. Signs (excluding disclaimer signs required under §  86.3(8)(iv) (relating to policy governing the public areas of the Capitol Complex) or banners supported by freestanding devices) may not be left unattended. An individual shall be stationed within 2 feet of a freestanding sign or banner at all times to prevent damage to the grounds, injury to individuals, and for security reasons.

   (6)  Equipment and structures. Equipment or structures of any kind that are placed on the Capitol grounds in connection with an event or exhibit shall be entirely removed at the conclusion of the event or exhibit, or no later than the time limitations in paragraph (1).

   (7)  Alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages may not be served or consumed in any public area within the Capitol Complex, except with the express permission of the Secretary.

   (8)  Camping or sleeping. Camping or sleeping overnight on grounds within the Capitol Complex is not allowed.

   (9)  Structures.

     (i)   To maintain the security, safety and aesthetic appearance of the buildings within the Capitol Complex and the Capitol grounds, and to provide for regular maintenance, improvements or alterations, structures erected by an organization (whether for shelter or for any other purpose), as part of a scheduled event or exhibit, shall be removed from the grounds by the time set forth in paragraph (1).

     (ii)   The size, number and location of structures erected for shelter will be determined by the Secretary based on the physical condition of the grounds and the expected size and nature of the event or exhibit. The Secretary’s determination will be stated in writing to the organization scheduling the event or exhibit. Structures erected for the purpose of shelter, such as tents for first aid or lost children may not be used for habitation.

     (iii)   Structures for a scheduled event or exhibit, for purposes other than shelter, shall be limited in number to one and in size to 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet, and may not be capable of habitation. The Secretary will designate specified areas of the Capitol grounds for the location of structures of this kind. The Secretary’s criteria for determining location will apply equally to all structures.

   (10)  Vehicles. Vehicles are not allowed on the Capitol grounds, except in areas designated for vehicular use or by permission of the Secretary.

   (11)  Closure. The Secretary may close any areas of the Capitol complex in the interest of maintaining the necessary level of security.


   The provisions of this §  86.5 amended September 6, 2002, effective September 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 4358. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (221073) to (221075).

Cross References

   This section cited in 4 Pa. Code §  86.3 (relating to policy governing the public areas of the Capitol Complex).

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