Council to decide great scooter debate
by Peter Burke
Jan 26, 2012 | 1538 views | 11 11 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Scotts Valley City Council will soon decide if scooters, as pictured above, will be officially allowed in the city's skate park. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
The Scotts Valley City Council will soon decide if scooters, as pictured above, will be officially allowed in the city's skate park. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
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The presence of scooters in the skate park is the hot topic the Scotts Valley City Council will discuss at its next meeting, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Before an impassioned crowd, the Scotts Valley Parks and Recreation Commission agreed unanimously Jan. 19 to recommend that the council change city law that bans scooters from the park. The council will take up the discussion next week.

When the skate park was built in 2004, scooters were much less popular and were not considered as a regular use for the park. That has changed, and people on scooters at times outnumber skaters in the park.

“We have grown as a community, and our needs have changed,” said Wendy Brannen, a longtime member of the commission. “We have to make do with the facilities we have.”

The existing city ordinance outlaws the use of scooters in the park. During the Christmas vacation, the park was crowded with scooter riders and skaters, causing some near accidents. Scotts Valley Police cleared the park of scooter riders several times while enforcing the ordinance. No citations have been issued.

The City Council will have a hearing on the topic Wednesday. Two public hearings are required before the council can change an ordinance.

“Scooter riders and skaters should understand that what happened on (January) 19th is not the final step,” said Recreation Director Conrad Sudduth. “If they care either way, they need to show up again at the City Council meeting.”

Many young skaters and scooter riders spoke at the January parks commission meeting. Some were in favor of allowing scooters in, while others were not.

“It was quite impressive of the kids,” Sudduth said.

One idea raised at the meeting was to set aside certain hours for scooter riders. The problem, according to parks staff, is that if a city staff member supervised the park to enforce such a policy, the city would become liable for injuries, according to state law.

Brannen noted that the parks commission is an advisory board and makes recommendations to the council. It does not have the power to change city laws.

She compared the conflict with when ski parks first allowed snowboarders on the slopes along with downhill skiers and when yoga was introduced during Jazzercise’s heyday.

“It’s all about usage and how to accommodate them,” Brannen said. “To say multiuse isn’t possible as far as etiquette goes is narrow-minded.”

Councilman Jim Reed has stated that he is in favor of allowing scooters in the park. He asked that the item be placed before the council.

The Highlands Park skate park in Ben Lomond, which is run by Santa Cruz County Parks and Recreation, is already open to scooter riders.

Comments
(11)
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anonymous
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January 29, 2012
After scooters are allowed the scooter parents will be yelling at the skaters; "Slow down, there's little kids around".
anonymous
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January 28, 2012
Maybe we should change the name from skateboard park to "multi-use park".

"Hey let's all go down to the multi-use park and go skateboarding" nah, just doesn't sound right.
anonymous
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January 28, 2012
Skateboarders are of all ages, scooters are just young kids. You're blocking out skaters of all ages so your little kids can play. So unfair.
anonymous
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January 28, 2012
“We have grown as a community, and our needs have changed,” said Wendy Brannen

Bull, scooters are nothing new, I still have my kids razor scooters from 10 years about. Only back then they never would have thought about blocking the skaters way. Now they have no qualms about it. They finally realized you can go in the skatepark and no one will do anything about it.

“It’s all about usage and how to accommodate them,” Brannen said. “To say multiuse isn’t possible as far as etiquette goes is narrow-minded.”

The golf course only has one use, is that narrow minded? I guess we should open it up to hikers but I guess they have other plans for that, like high density housing.

It almost wasn't
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January 28, 2012
The skatepark that almost wasn't

The skatepark project started way back in the 90s or so. Back when Scotts Valley was actually a pretty cool little town. But then right as we were

about to break ground some guy named Jim Reed showed up at one of the city council meeting demanding we stop the skatepark project ranting anraving

that it would be terrible for SV. And he even got two of the city council members to side with him. It barely passed with a 3-2 vote. The council

members who voted for the skatepark were Cliff Barret, Cheryl Ainsworth and Stephanie Aguilar who was very instrumental in bringing the skatepark

about. the two who voted against it were...you guessed it, Randy Johnson and Paul Marigonda. Now Jim Reed and Randy johnson are on the city council

and I don't have much hope for the rest except Sthephanie. The skaters don't have a snowball's chance in hell. 4-1 is about the best they can hope

for. This is the end of skateboarding in Scotts Valley.

SV misfit
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January 27, 2012
They also said Scotts Valley was for "family types". I think they finally found a way to get rid of those undesirable skateboarders, flood the skatepark with scooters so they can't use it at all.
anonymous
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January 28, 2012
biased biggots only want there own kind here.
anonymous
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January 27, 2012
"She compared the conflict with when ski parks first allowed snowboarders on the slopes along with downhill skiers"

Not the smae at all, they share a huge mountain, this is small, just 3 bowls and a small street course. Hardly the same as a mountain.
anonymous
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January 27, 2012
Brannen said. “To say multiuse isn’t possible as far as etiquette goes is narrow-minded.”

It's supposed to have one purpose, that's not being narrow minded. Since it's mu;ti-use when the dog park goes away you can have dogs running thru there chasing balls and stuff.
Rejoin County SV
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January 27, 2012
Delete 60% of taxes burned by redundant SV public services entirely. Rebuild middle school with money left over. SV council admits superiority of County operations.
anonymous
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January 26, 2012
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this is going to go.


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