Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Thursday, the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its scheduled meeting beginning at 6:00 in City Council Chambers at City Hall.  You can read the agenda for that meeting HERE.  I see no discussion on the recent Fairview Park parking lot/tot lot issue on the agenda.

As you scroll down through that agenda you will notice that the most controversial item, #10d, which dealt with the proposed modification of hours of operation and posting of signage at the Volcom Skate Park at TeWinkle Park has been removed from the agenda.  That issue has been controversial in recent months because of several unfortunate incidents involving misbehaving skaters - usually adults - who have failed to follow the rules and had run-ins with Park Rangers and members of the Costa Mesa Police Department.  Before the issue was removed from the agenda I read the proposed agenda item, which you can also read HERE.

As you can see as you read through it, part of the plan to improve operations involved shortening operating hours and posting of signage that, if enforced, would put tremendous peer pressure on skaters.  If ONE skater misbehaved city personnel could shut down the park to all.

I'm not a skater - never have been and likely never will be - but I've had many young neighbors who enjoy the sport and have enjoyed their experiences at the Volcom facility.  However, it seems to me that the facility is too small for the existing demand and it permits very young skaters to be in the mix with older, much more proficient skaters.  That frequently leads to trouble.  And, of course, there's the issue of skaters not wearing the required safety equipment - elbow and knee pads and a helmet.

In my opinion, much of this could be resolved by carving out small segments in otherwise lightly-used neighborhood parks and install "beginner's"facilities - a small bowl, a grind rail, etc., - to take the pressure of Volcom.  There are probably a half-dozen parks where such facilities could be easily installed at a reasonable cost.  Young skaters could develop their early skills without the danger of being run-over by older skaters. 

In the meantime, there is no word as to when this issue will be brought before the Parks and Recreation Commission for consideration.  I suspect Parks and Recreation Chairman Byron de Arakal  and Recreation Manager Bob Knapp would love to hear your views on this issue.  You can reach Knapp by email at or by telephone at 714-754-5052.

The remainder of the agenda tomorrow involves mostly tree removal requests, a request for a memorial plaque and a discussion Streetscape and Median Design Standards, HERE.

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