Skateboard park attracts a few complaints

  • Jul. 11, 2008 9:00 a.m.

The skateboard park in Queen Charlotte isn’t officially open yet, but already people in the neighbourhood are upset. Tom Kile, who lives across the street from the long-awaited park, says cars have been racing up and down the road and young people are playing loud music and making noise until midnight. He’s even seen known drug dealers cruising the area. “Right now, the neighbourhood doesn’t care if it ever opens,” he told Queen Charlotte councillors at their regular meeting July 7. He said he and his neighbours are quiet people and several have been complaining about this park, which he feels was dumped on the neighbourhood with no consultation. He’s also worried about property values. The mayor and council heard his concerns, but said the park has been years in the making and wasn’t dumped on anyone. Chief financial officer Debra Uliana pointed out that the area was designated a park in the old Official Community Plan. Mayor Carol Kulesha said part of the problem is that because the park is not yet open, there has been no official discussion with users or rules made yet. She said the increased activity could be a surge of initial enthusiasm for the park, especially with the long summer days now here. She suggested Mr. Kile talk with the users about his concerns. “This will be a lesson for the teens as well, on how do we all live together,” she said. Mr. Kile said it wouldn’t be a good introduction, for neighbours to start putting their thumbs down right away. “We don’t want to be the police for the skateboard park,” he said. Councillor Greg Martin asked Mr. Kile what he thought would be a reasonable shut down time and Mr. Kile said he’d be satisfied with 10 pm, but couldn’t speak for others. Councillor Kris Olsen, who also works at the Teen Centre, suggested Mr. Kile talk with the RCMP about his concerns and see if they would make the park one of their regular patrol stops. Councillor Olsen said he’s happy that young people have a place to hang out that is out in the open. He added that he would make an effort to talk with some of the young people using the area. Mayor Kulesha said the park is a positive alternative to kids jumping the highway with their bikes. Councillor Eric Ross added that cars race around in other areas too, like near his house across from the Government Agent. He says the vehicles speed into and out of the playground zone at the top of the hill too. “It’s time to do something about the traffic laws,” he said.

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