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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NEWPORT/COSTA
MESA/IRVINE: COSTA MESA

Skateboard Park Plan Is Gaining Support

April 04, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

Public support is spinning faster than a ball bearing for a proposal to build one or two skateboard parks in the city.

The parks would be an alternative to streets, sidewalks and public parking lots and property--many of which are off limits to skateboarders under municipal codes.

"We need more places to skate so we don't get in trouble," said Josh Jubak, 21, a skateboard technician at Empire Sports in Costa Mesa.

Skateboard maker Paul Schmitt, who owns Giant Skateboard Distribution, pledged $10,000 toward the project, which will be considered by the City Council on April 20.

"I am just looking to contribute to the overall costs," he said. "This is important to me. This has been my life, skateboarding, and it's important to youth culture and the community."

City Councilman Joe Erickson said youngsters and parents call him at home to voice support for the idea, which once seemed too great a liability risk. But that changed Jan. 1, when a state law took some of the legal burden off cities for injuries at public skating parks.

"I've had calls from local skateboard manufacturers that want to lend assistance and provide information," said Keith Van Holt, city director of community services. "I've also gotten a couple of calls from the general public saying, 'We think it's great.' "

Parks commissioners sent a recommendation to the City Council last month backing a skate park, which could cost $70,000 to $85,000. Planners cite similar parks in Huntington Beach as a model.

Lions Park has been mentioned by as a possible location.

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