The Vancouver Park Board is considering a plan to bulldoze a $200,000 skate park built just three years ago at Mount Pleasant Park on Ontario Street and 16th Avenue.
A report by the Park Board notes that there have been a number of noise complaints by nearby residents who claim the skate park is being used by young adults during the late night and early morning hours.
“Staff did not anticipate the need, the high use by adult skateboarders, and the noise resulting from this location,” reads the report. “What works well for young children learning to skateboard is also fun for skateboarders of all ages and skill levels.”
Following the initial complaints, in 2013 a 10-foot high chain link fence was installed around the perimeter of the skate park. The entry gates were manually locked and unlocked by Park Board staff on a daily basis at 9 p.m and 9 a.m., but skaters have continued to use the skate park after hours by climbing over the fence.
A few options are now being considered to appease the concerns of local residents, all of which require a capital expenditure.
The existing skate park could be modified for beginner skateboard use at a cost of $25,000 or removed entirely and converted into a grass lawn for $40,000.
Another $200,000 could also be spent on building a replacement skate park seven blocks north at Jonathan Rogers Park on Manitoba Street and 8th Avenue. This has been identified as the preferred location given that the park is surrounded by light industry and businesses – excessive noise would not be a factor.
Prior to 2012, the skate park site at Mount Pleasant Park was an outdoor pool no longer in use. Teenagers and young adults would build their own ramps and obstacles on the pool, turning it into a make-shift skate area.