All aspects of Skateboarding in Calgary are restricted by City policies and bylaws that unfairly and unreasonably restrict skateboarding  as a healthy, environmentally friendly, fun activity.  On Monday June 21st, Go Skateboarding Day, Alderman Joe Connelly is presenting a notice of motion to council seeking their support for two initiatives:

  1. The development of a  City of Calgary Skateboarding strategy – a process that should see more skateparks and skate friendly laws and policies
  2. The amendment of the land use bylaw to allow backyard skate ramps under certain conditions just like any other structure

Calgary Skateboarding Needs Your Help NOW!
If this motion is to have a chance to succeed The Calgary Skate Community must let every alderman and the Mayor know how much they support it. Show your support in two  ways:

  • Write an email to council – see directions below
  • Forward this email to EVERYONE you know who skates, is a fan of skateboarding, or who is a supporter of a skateboarder so they can join the email campaign

Email Directions:

Before you click “send” . . .

  • Address the email to alderweb@calgary.ca
  • Subject line = Skateboard strategy notice of motion 20100621
  • First line of the email = Please forward this email to ALL Aldermen and the Mayor
  • In your email say why Calgary needs a skatepark strategy and why the ramp bylaw should be changed (See ideas for points to make below)
  • Your email must be received by Monday morning at the latest

We need HUGE numbers of emails to arrive in Council’s inbox this week.  Spread this email to anyone who supports skateboarding, we need it to go viral around our city so do your part – This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to change skateboarding in Calgary FOREVER.

Here are some ideas on what you can say in your email

Why a skateboard strategy?

  • Conservatively, there are 36000 skateboarders in Calgary – skateboarding is popular and is not going to go away
  • Skateboarding is big business, one dozen local “core” board shops and four national chain board shop stores all of which employ Calgarians and pay taxes.
  • Calgary lags behind every major city in skateparks.  We have ONE for a city of 1 million people, greater Edmonton with a similar population has NINE!
  • Skateparks are becoming a recreational staple in communities all over, except Calgary.  New, modern, concrete skateparks have recently been built in Airdrie, Black Diamond, Brooks, Canmore, Cochrane,  Eckville, Langdon, Leduc, Olds (2010), Ponoka, Strathmore,  and Taber.  There are groups working toward building skateparks in Lacombe, Nanton, and Sylvan Lake (all at different stages of advocacy and planning). The only new skatepark in Calgary is because of LRT construction.
  • An election is approaching and how you vote on this motion will effect how I vote in the election

Why Change the ramp bylaw?

  • Of more than 58 Canadian cities surveyed. Calgary is the only that prohibits skateboard ramps on residential property.  and a small minority mention them in their land use bylaws. Other municipalities don’t think skateboard ramps are worth regulating, why does Calgary? It is embarrassing
  • Skateboarding is big business in Calgary and the ramp bylaw unnecessarily limiting the market for the one dozen local “core” board shops and four national chain board shop stores. The city has no problem collecting taxes from these businesses so it is not fair to prohibit Calgarians from using their purchases on their own property.
  • Calgary has only one skatepark for over 1 million residents, far behind Greater Edmonton’s eight.  The Where are all of these skateboarders supposed to skate, the ONE skatepark located in downtown Calgary, kilometres from most suburban residents’ homes?
  • Properly constructed ramps do not detract from a neighbourhood
  • Skateboard ramps are less noisy than other permitted backyard activities including trampolines, swimming pools, lawnmowers, . . .
  • An election is approaching and how you vote on this motion will effect how I vote in the election
  • (More to come check back soon)

Don’t wait, write your email TODAY!

Here is the text of the motion proposed by Alderman Connelly (A candidate for Mayor):

NOTICE OF MOTION

2010 June 21

ALDERMAN JOE CONNELLY

DEVELOPMENT OF A SKATEBOARD PARK STRATEGY

WHEREAS skateboarding, rollerblading and freestyle BMX biking are some of the fastest growing sports in Canada and the demand for skateboard parks is high;

AND WHEREAS skateboarding crosses all demographics from pre-teens to middle-age adults;

AND WHEREAS the Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts (C.A.S.E.) estimates there are approximately 30,000 skateboarders in Calgary that include street skaters, slalom racers, vert riders, speedboarders, longboarders, freestylers, sliders and park riders, based on a 2008 survey conducted by Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation;

AND WHEREAS despite the significant numbers of Calgarians who participate in skateboarding related activities, the City of Calgary has only one major concrete civic facility and two smaller modular facilities to support this sport,

AND WHEREAS the City of Calgary supports active, creative and healthy lifestyles through recreational endeavors by providing facilities with safe access;

AND WHEREAS Calgary is one of the few major Canadian municipalities that does not have a comprehensive Skateboard Park Strategy;

AND WHEREAS The City of Calgary Recreation is a strong supporter of International Go Skateboarding Day on June 21, 2010, in partnership with C.A.S.E. and local industry.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct Administration to engage with community stakeholders to scope and develop terms of reference for a comprehensive Skateboard Park Strategy and report to Council through the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services no later than 2011 January.

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT Administration review provisions in the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 that currently prohibits skateboard ramps on private property and identify conditions where such use can be considered.

%d bloggers like this: