Back in October we told you about a north west Calgary family who had received an order from by-law officers to remove their backyard skate ramp because it violated Calgary’s no ramp bylaw (Land Use Bylaw 4.27mb PDF). We’re kinda slow but it is time for us to give you an update on the Collins’ appeal of the removal order.

Backyard ramp photo

Jeff watching son Jack skate their ramp

Back on January 14th Jeff Collins formally appealed the removal order, appearing before  the development appeal board.  Jeff laid out his case that the ramp was not noisy and had in fact been in place for three years without incident.  Collins informed the board that Calgary stands alone in Canadian cities with it’s outright ban on backyard ramps and that skateboarding is part of the active healthy lifestyle that the City of Calgary and others promote so vigorously.  Having made his case before the board as best he could without the help of anyone like Ben Matlock, Mr. Collins had to wait a further two weeks until January 28th to hear the verdict for the ramp that he and son Jack love to skate.

Decision Day For Calgary Skateboarding

On a cold January Day father, skateboarder, and oil patch consulting firm employee Jeff  Collins returns to City Hall to hear the fate of the treasured ramp now covered in snow and ice.  Would the Development Appeal Board stick to the letter of the bylaw, or would they show some  common sense and allow Jeff & Jack to skateboard at home like they have for the past three years?  We are stoked to report that the DAB had a heart after all. The Collins’ will have their ramp to skate under a few conditions:

Skating the calgary backyard ramp

Jack is stoked to skate his ramp this year

  • The ramp can stay for one year
  • To keep the ramp longer, the Collins’ will have to apply for another permit
  • There can be no changes or addition to the ramp without approval
  • The ramp can be used between 10am and 9pm for a maximum of 2 hours a day
  • No more than 4 skaters at one time.

Congratulations to the DAB for seeing past the prejudices behind the current bylaw and finding a way for Jack and his Dad to keep their ramp.  That there are conditions is a sign of just how far our City Council has to go in joining the 21st century regarding it’s skateboarders, but at least the DAB conditions are for the most part reasonable.  Now the fight has to continue to get the bylaw changed so Jeff and Jack don’t have to go through this again next year.

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