Skatepark ordinance tabled, pushing back opening

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The borough’s long-awaited skatepark opening received another bump last week as the borough council voted during its meeting July 21 to table the introduction of the park’s rules-and-regulations ordinance. 

The new $215,000 concrete skate park at the Little League Complex, 410 Arnold Ave, was built by Spohn Ranch Skateparks throughout the winter and spring.

The council members unanimously decided the proposed ordinance needs to be examined further after Councilman Bob Santanello questioned some of the rules.

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The ordinance as proposed, along with setting standard rules such as wearing pads and helmets, sets COVID-19 pandemic social-distancing regulations as permanent. 

“My biggest concern with how the ordinance reads is that you’re putting in permanent solutions to a temporary problem,” said Mr. Santanello. 

The rules in the proposed ordinance include a capacity of 10 skaters at one time to provide for social distancing, as well as requiring users to apply hand sanitizer and to wear masks. 

“This is a permanent ordinance,” said Mr. Santanello, “This is not a temporary ordinance.”

He said the ordinance should use specific wording for COVID-19 rules, adding something along the lines of “during emergencies.”

“I don’t think that the ordinance should read that permanently they need face masks and hand sanitizers and social distancing,” said Mr. Santanello. 

He also brought up a rule he thinks is odd for a skatepark, stipulating that skaters may not share equipment. 

Mr. Santanello said he thinks the ordinance is being set up for the skatepark to fail, something echoed by the skate community, he says.

“I think it’s going to be a great thing for our town. I think it’s going to be wonderful,” said Mr. Santanello, “but a lot of people feel that the way it’s written is designed for the skateboard park to fail.”

Rules such as limiting the park to 10 skaters at a time and no sharing of equipment will lead to the police being called to the park often and summonses written, Mr. Santanello said.

The council agreed with Mr. Santanello, and tabled the ordinance in order to better draft a long-term rule list. 

“If we’re going to open it to have it fail, then we shouldn’t open it,” said Councilwoman Arlene Testa.

Mr. Santanello also suggested the borough wait until the fall to open the park, which he said may make some people angry. He said his reasoning is to limit the number of visitors going to the park in the summer months. 

A reworked ordinance is set to be reintroduced during the next borough council meeting on Aug. 4.

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