Like many Calgary skateboarders Jeff Collins and his ten year old son Jack enjoy skating their back yard mini-ramp. Their fun is set to come to an end because after two years without a problem Calgary by-law officers have ordered the Collins’ to remove their ramp.
In a recent survey of 61 Canadian cities and towns, Calgary stands alone at the only one with a ban on skateboard ramps. You won’t even need a permit in most of the municipalities that responded and when permits are required the limitations are usually very reasonable (height limits as high as 5m/16’ ). Clearly no one else thinks skate ramps are a problem so they clearly should not be an issue in Calgary.
The Collins’ are challenging the bylaw, starting by appealing the order to remove their ramp. Challenging a bylaw will not be cheap and the cost should be shared by the skate community in Calgary because the Collins’ are fighting for your right to have a mini-ramp or launch ramp too! If you want to see the bylaw overturned you and your parents need to do two things to help:
1. Make a cash donation to CASE who will use the money to help the Collins’ pay costs related to the bylaw challenge
- To direct your donation to the ramp bylaw challenge, please indicate so in the comments field or send an email to indicate your wishes
- If all money donated for the Ramp Bylaw challenge is not needed for it, the funds raised will be used by CASE to advance skateboarding in Calgary
2. Write your alderman and the mayor asking that the ban be lifted immediately because:
- The city has no reason to ban a healthy activity
- There are no similar bans on trampolines, swimming pools, ball hockey, volleyball, or other sports
- The noise by-law can address potential noise concerns
- No other Canadian city or town has an outright ban on skateboard ramps and few mention them in their land use bylaws
To help you with your letter:
- Click here to download a template (MSWord.doc) Just replace the parts in the <angle brackets> with your own ideas.
- Find out who your Alderman is here.
- Mayor Bronconnier’s contact information can be found here. Be sure to write him as well.
If the state of skateboarding is going to improve in Calgary it will only happen if people like YOU get involved to make it happen. Changing the ramp bylaw is the first step in overcoming prejudice and getting skateboarding and skateboarders treated with respect. CASE hopes YOU will get involved starting with the ramp bylaw issue!