Recommendation to remove Westoak Trails Skateboard Park deferred to allow for further investigation

Council to deliberate on Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m.

On May 26, 2010, the Community Services Committee (CSC) deferred a recommendation to remove the Westoak Trails Skateboard Park to allow for further investigation into cost, timing and other suitable locations including Palermo Park. In addition, the CSC requested that staff examine alternate landscaping sound mitigation at the park to address concerns of illegal after-hours youth activities.

Council heard from many delegations about noise complaints, youth misconduct and the lack of services for youth in Ward 4. “There are those who want the skateboard park and those who want it removed,” said Chris Mark, Director of Parks and Open Space. “The facility is widely used during the day, usually without incident. However, there have been issues with inappropriate youth activity during evening and night time periods. Unfortunately, increased signage and security/police presence have not reduced illegal after-hours park use.”

One option would see the prefabricated skateboard equipment removed from the site with the concrete pad left in place to allow staff to reassess the location and investigate opportunities to manage the source of youth loitering and gathering in the park after-hours. This option also provides an opportunity for legitimate skateboarders in the local area to voice their opinion and possibly work with staff to look at other solutions and relocation options.

“This decision is difficult because there are many people making use of the facility as intended,” said Mark. “Unfortunately, inappropriate activity at Westoak Trails Park has left a feeling of declining community safety and has become a livability issue for adjacent residents.”

The skateboard park was installed in late July 2009 and since that time issues of inappropriate youth loitering and vandalism at night have been frequent.  A public meeting was held on April 8, 2010 and was attended primarily by nearby residents who voiced their preference to have the facility removed.

A similar skateboard facility was installed at Iroquois Ridge Community Centre and has had little to no inappropriate youth activity. Staff believes that the reasons could relate to the facility being next to a busy community centre and within close range of video surveillance cameras.

“Removal of the skateboard park will result in a reduction of services for youth within Ward 4,” explained Mark. “We have a high concentration of youth in this area and skateboarding facilities and programs are one of the most frequently requested activities according to our research. To maintain the existing level of services for youth, we’re considering Palermo Park as a possible new location.”

According to the Parks, Recreation, Culture & Library Master plan approved in June 2006, portable/temporary skateboard facilities in new growth areas that are underserved by youth facilities, and the incorporation of smaller scale, introductory skateboard facilities into playgrounds in the town’s newer developing areas were recommended.

The deferred recommendation including requested new information will be deliberated by Council on Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. in Council Chamber.

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For more information contact:

Chris Mark
Director, Parks and Open Space
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3111
cmark@oakville.ca


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Recommendation to remove Westoak Trails Skateboard Park deferred to allow for further investigation