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City Council OKs Skateboard Park

July 18, 1998|JOHN POPE

With the specter of liability removed by recent state legislation, Westminster officials have decided to give local skateboarders a place to ride.

The City Council this week gave its preliminary approval for the construction of a skateboard park, along with a $100,000 budget.

"We've been thinking about doing this for a while, but it was the recent legislation that really pushed us forward," community services director Charlene Lent said.

The next step for the project, Lent said, will be hiring an architect and holding community meetings to help determine the park's design, most likely for beginning and intermediate skaters.

Officials have not selected a location yet, Lent said, but it will be "centrally located, hopefully on property the city already owns."

A new state law, introduced by Assemblyman Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside), a former skateboarder, protects cities from skateboard-accident lawsuits. The law, which took effect Jan. 1, places the sport on the state's hazardous activity list alongside rock climbing and hang gliding.

The legislation spurred many cities to investigate building parks, with several modeled after a highly successful one in Huntington Beach.

Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and San Clemente are among the cities planning to build skateboard parks. The Cypress City Council discussed the issue this week, but delayed a decision for six weeks after a group of residents opposed the proposed location at Veterans' Park.

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