Friday, April 18, 2003
Abutters oppose skateboard park on CCHS campus
A temporary skateboard park, approved at the April 9 Regional School Committee meeting, will be installed at the end of June at the Concord-Carlisle High School. At a future date, it will be replaced by a permanent structure. Abutters of the school, who were never consulted on plans for the project, expressed strong opposition to the installation of a permanent skateboard park.
The park, slated to be constructed on a triangle of land close to Brister's Hill Road, would be available during daylight hours only. "The location is easier to patrol," Concord Chief of Police Len Weatherbee explained to the committee, because the kids will be in one area. Businesses in Concord are complaining now of skateboarding, he said, and property managers are having "heated discussions with kids" about use of their property. "We need to put the kids in one area, with a list of rules and regulations, and require helmets," he said. Then the police can control when the kids can be there. The patrol cars monitor the high school constantly, he said, so they can check the area as they go by. "Our goal is community-wide," and the police would support the neighborhood if it became a problem. "If it becomes a noise issue: abuse it; lose it," he concluded.
When asked why this location was chosen from all the available land in Concord, Barbara Howland, of the Skateboard Committee, explained they did extensive research and chose this site with input from the police and the School Committee. Noting that the neighbors were not included in the process, committee member Michael Fitzgerald suggested waiting for a permanent skateboard park vote until meetings can be held with abutters. Committee member Lauren Walters disagreed and moved a motion to build the permanent park now. The motion was not seconded, and failed to come to a vote.
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