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Lansdale Skate Park Development Poised for 2013

The parks and recreation committee is scouting locations for a potential skateboard park in Lansdale Borough

The idea of bringing a skate park to Lansdale Borough has not bailed in the minds of the parks and recreation committee.

In fact, skateboarders can take solace in the fact that the committee is proposing money be budgeted solely for development of a skate park in 2013.

“We are in the process of searching for a proper location,” said committee Chairwoman Mary Fuller at Wednesday’s Lansdale Council work session. “The chief (Robert McDyre), Carl (Saldutti, the parks director) and myself have been around doing some scouting. That project is moving forward.”

Fuller said the plan at present is to come up with a list of potential sites for a skate park.

“We are working with the police. Because of visibility and safety, we want to pick a place that’s amenable to public safety,” Fuller said. “Certainly, it’s best if we already own the property.”

No doubt, eyes are focused now on the borough park system to find a suitable location.

“We want to look for a place where it will cause the least disruption to peoples’ neighborhoods,” Fuller said.

Earlier this year, the committee discussed working with Hatfield Township to find a location in the jointly-owned Schweiker Park on Moyer Road.

Schweiker Park, she said, is still in the mix.

“It’s my personal goal to have this well underway, if not completed, in 2013,” Fuller said. “You know me: I’m always thinking it can happen in a month. Of course, it can’t. To be usable in 2013 would be fantastic.”

Fuller said the committee would, at some point after a location is found, invite public input. This public input includes seeking suggestions from youths, teens and young adults who skate in the borough.

“If we put money and resources into building a skate park,” she said, “let’s build something users will use.”

It's been nine years since the words "skate park" left the lips of a councilmember and archived in Lansdale Borough's record books.

The first time the idea came up was in 2003. At that time, the borough and the North Penn YMCA entered into discussions on a skate park to meet an increasing demand in the sport.

However, according to an article in The Reporter, former borough manager F. Lee Mangan said a park wasn’t feasible because White’s Road Park was too small, and Schweiker Park wouldn’t permit it because it is a restricted passive recreation park funded by a county grant.

There was also the risk and liability factor — what if someone gets hurt? Would the borough be sued?

In August 2007, the discussion came up again per request of former councilman John Smiley, prompted by a report that more youths are skateboarding than playing baseball, according to a Reporter newspaper article.

But, for a second time, the idea was tabled come 2008 because the resident with two adjoining lots to Schweiker Park wasn’t interested in selling.

There was some hope, too, that Keith Stoltz, owner of the former American Olean Tile Co. property, would either sell or donate a one-acre parcel to the borough and township, according to the article.

Before the project goes through, there's a need for some housekeeping in the borough ordinance.

Lansdale Borough zoning laws prohibit skateboarding on public property only, thereby forcing skaters to use places like White’s Road Park or Wedgewood Park for their ollies, grinds and kickflips.

One vote prevented skateboard from being legalized in Railroad Plaza and the business district in 1999 — former Mayor Mike DiNunzio cast the vote that broke a tie. At the time of the vote, one out of nine councilpersons was absent.

We put the question out to our Lansdale Patch fans and followers: Where do you think is a good location for a skate park?

In more than 24 hours, 63 people left comments. The most popular locations suggested: White's Road Park, Stony Creek Park, Fourth Street Park, off West Fifth Street near the Cannoneers football field, the former American Olean property at Eighth and Cannon, and the old depot at Broad and Vine.

Readers also suggested across from Stony Creek Park or the former Lans-Bowl property. However, these properties are the sites of a future townhome community and the Lansdale Collaborative Project, respectively.

Where do you think is a good location for the skate park?

Learn More on This Topic:

  • Skate Park Funding in Proposed Budget
joe November 12, 2012 at 04:45 AM
-People get hurt doing everyday activities. -I know a handfull of 50 year olds that skateboard -When the people of a town suggest something the politicians usually react in some manner, be that positive, negative,or not at all. Luckily we live in a community where the public's concerns are heard by those who make the laws. - The whole point of building a skatepark in lansdale is so people don't have to travel 20-40 min to the closest skateparks, and so kids aren't harassed by the Lansdale PD for skateboarding. (Because it does happen) -A lot of hardworking tax payers (like myself) believe this is a good investment. Heck I don't want to pay as much in taxes as the next person. When something like this arises that will have an extremely positive impact on our community (whether you realize it or not) I bite my tongue and shell out a couple more bucks. The key to living in a community is to co-exist with everyone else. You may not believe that this is a good use of tax dollars, but many parents (not only children, or those rotten teenagers) truly believe that this town is in dire need of a skatepark.
joe November 12, 2012 at 07:38 AM
we got a hobby nazi over here! who are you to tell someone what or what not to do. Im sure someone at one point in your life wasn't pleased with something you enjoyed. Ask yourself how you felt about that.
Evan Breder November 21, 2012 at 09:02 PM
If and when this project is starts to get rolling, the town MUST contact Jesse Clayton of 5th pocket designs. Jesse was responsible for building the highly successful Ambler skate park. Anything less than Jesse's work would be a disservice to all of the tax payers and skateboarders. ABSOLUTELY AVOID PRE-FABRICATED SKATE PARKS. It would be 110% worth the wait to save for a concrete park instead of speeding things up and ordering a prefabricated park. The skatepark that was formerly in the church parking lot was a complete wast of money. DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. Say no to pre-fabricated skateparks.
db December 26, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I feel there is pleany of room and privacy accross the street in colmar at whistle stop park. In between the tennis courts and ball fields to the left of the basketbal/hockey courts. You really don't need that much room just look at the one @ roslyn park. Its perfect in design (concrete) and doesn't really take up much space. There are already lights @ colmar (whistlestop) they can tap into plus there always seems to be somebody there at the other venues if a lone skater gets hurt and needs assistance.
Bill S January 24, 2013 at 07:24 PM
I'm very excited to hear about this park. I've been skateboarding at Wedgewood for almost 10 years now. I have pitched in with some of the construction of the park and my friends have put many hours into making that place what it is today. Jesse Clayton and the guys at 5th pocket are doing great things. They put together Ambler skatepark along with many other places and have been very successful. I think they would be perfect for this kind of job. Here is a link to their website http://fifthpocketdesign.com/ Here is a link to part 1 of a short documentary on their company that was recently posted on one the most popular skateboarding sites. http://theberrics.com/diy-or-die/fifth-pocket-part-1.html?autoplay Heres the link to Part 2 http://theberrics.com/diy-or-die/fifth-pocket-part-2.html?autoplay

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