A Suggested Skate Park Site

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There has been far too much dithering about skateboard parks over the past 25 years with stifled imagination displayed to get something accomplished.  The imagination part is integrating land and projects to provide multiple uses within the city’s ability and jurisdiction without outside complications (like involving the county).

For example, the ACT V parking lot is underutilized about nine months of the year. And yet it could provide space for a portable (and perhaps rented) surface skateboard park with major course challenges for skateboarders.  There are many companies who furnish this type of surface equipment. The land is controlled by the city and is fairly isolated from residents.  Some of the cost could be captured on a usage fee basis since access can be controlled.  It could even provide both day and night skateboarding with supervision.  This would be a pathway to determine if there really is demand for a park, and if so, what the demand actually is.

Another long-term concept would be to consider previous ideas from the community to build a new parking structure on the ACT V lot.  Only this time add the concept of a skateboard park on a portion of the top level, thus integrating two projects into one. The land is owned and controlled by the city, so it minimizes dealing with outside agencies.  Expanding the concept further, make this the transit hub for the city and relocate the OCTA bus terminal from its current location in the downtown area. It deserves better usage to serve the entire community.

The concept is a way to do something now. The surface equipment at ACT V would overcome most of the objections raised by neighbors (noise, gangs, etc).  It appears that the committee has studied many options that have many roadblocks, so how about something that might be viable? This project can turn an underutilized city owned lot into a solution for skateboarders with some imagination. It’s not a perfect multi-million dollar solution, but it is better then nothing.

I urge the city to look at this alternative before determining that they are incapable of using ACT V for this purpose.

Victor Opincar, Laguna Beach

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