N.I.M.B.Y. Nimrod Protests Skate Park, Wants Dress Code Enforced.

Parker Crest Neighborhood Association protests West Linn Skatepark

According to (the complaining resident), the out-of-towners look “rough-and-ready.” They’re not wearing khakis and polos…

Oh god. Here we go again. This joker is pissed cause he bought an overpriced house that sits on top of his neighbors and overlooks the West Linn skate park. His neighborhood association says they don’t like it. Well that means it’s time to move. The park sits in the midst of a pretty uptight neighborhood, that’s for sure. It’s time to get the folks over at Skaters For Public Skateparks to trot out the noise level studies again. Will they try to get it torn down? Seems implausible, but there’s a lot of collective wealth in those subdivisions. This guy has a lot of nerve posing for a picture in the skate park and giving his name, which is William Relyea. What a tool. Check out the story in the Aug 23, 2006 issue of the West Linn Tidings or read more commentary here.

Another good quote:

Theresa Elder told the council that the skatepark has a negative impact on her family life and the neighborhood’s. She cited drug use and drinking as prevalent, and said she is nervous walking her 5-year-old daughter from her home to Tanner Creek Park.

This lady has a pretty low threshold for danger. I’ve been to that park a lot. I’ve never seen drug use. I’ve seen some beer on occasion, but it’s always been people of age who were pretty discreet. Afraid to walk your kid by? Come on. Give me a break. The whole thing is fenced in, and there’s nothing on the other side of the par, so there is literally no reason to walk by it unless you want to watch the skating. The other cross street is at 30 yards to entrance where the little kids hang out. If you are threatened by that, you need to move to Singapore, or a bomb shelter. Seriously. Go stick your head in the sand. I see families there with little kids all the time.

Drug use” seems to be their rallying cry. Just becasue you say the words a hundred times doesn’t mean it’s actually happening there. As the Mrs. Reverend Lovejoy would say, “What about the children? The children!” Sure, all those old guys are on the nod, but that’s just cause they are worn out. Apparently lying isn’t something they are overly concerned about.

Some residents complain about noise, after-hours use, language, alcohol and drugs at the WL skatepark
By Jim Hart
The West Linn Tidings Aug 23, 2006

Vern Uyetake
William Relyea, president of the Parker Crest Neighborhood Association, represents the views of the neighborhood, which he says objects to current management of the skatepark.

The incessant battle between local residents and skateboarders is back in city hall.

At its Aug. 14 meeting, the West Linn City Council was presented with a petition of more than 130 signatures of people who object to the way the skatepark in Tanner Creek Park is being managed.

Complaints ranged from excessive noise to drugs, to bullying, to curfew violations and unsafe skating on city streets.

Local resident Wally Shelton says for those in the immediate neighborhood it’s often difficult to sleep.

“There are people in the park at all hours, day and night,” he told the council. “The hours are supposed to be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rarely are those hours enforced. I’ve seen people in the park as late as two or three o’clock in the morning.

“And four weeks ago on Sunday morning, I had four people from an upper neighborhood come skateboarding down at 5 o’clock in the morning – on a Sunday morning.”

But not all residents are against having the park in their neighborhood. One adult who lives in the neighborhood, who did not want to give her name, said the skatepark offers the community more than just the occasional screamed cuss-word from a fallen skater or the noise of rolling wheels.

“Well, they get exercise,” she said. “They could be doing a lot worse things.”

The woman and her two boys come to the park often, and she said it is a great place for kids.

“The environment is pretty healthy,” she said, “I mean if they weren’t here, they might be doing something not so healthy.”

Brian Pierce said he was a West Linn resident in 2001 when the plan for Tanner Creek Park was approved, and he anticipated problems.

“As part of the approval,” he told the council, “it was made clear that the park was to be designed for the enjoyment of West Linn children. Hours would be maintained, adequate parking provided and appropriate noise barriers constructed.

“Fast forward five years, and all of my concerns have turned out to be warranted – all because the city didn’t do what it said it would do.”

Adult skateboarders are often using the park, many from other cities, according to Shelton.

“If you go down there and do an age study,” he said, “they’re 20, 30, 40 and some 50-year-old people skateboarding. They’re not the children of West Linn that the original agreement was signed for.”

A middle-aged skateboarder from Happy Valley, who declined to identify himself, spoke of the skatepark as a safe place while he watched his kids do skateboard tricks Tuesday.

“I see the park rangers come out here daily, so it stays pretty safe,” he said. “They have a sign that says not to smoke or drink … I do see some adults drinking beer, but not often.”

A skater who overheard the conversation objected to the idea that skaters drink at the park.

“You come here to skate, not drink,” he said. “Drinking and skating don’t mix; it’s toxic.”

But there are more than just a few West Linn residents upset over the state of affairs at the skatepark.

William Relyea, president of the Parker Crest Neighborhood Association, brought to the council the petition with 130 signatures as well as a letter from a homeowners association in the Rosemont Summit Neighborhood Association.

Relyea reminded councilors that the skatepark was designed to be a world-class competitive arena, but the planning commission had intended it for West Linn residents.

Theresa Elder told the council that the skatepark has a negative impact on her family life and the neighborhood’s. She cited drug use and drinking as prevalent, and said she is nervous walking her 5-year-old daughter from her home to Tanner Creek Park.

“When we walk by there, there’s the smell of marijuana and who knows what’s going on in the bathrooms,” she said. “There’s drinking at all hours of the day and night. We can hear them. We hear the skating going on at two and three o’clock in the morning, especially on the weekends and in the summer.

“The swearing is horrible. (The skatepark) is being used by grown men. This isn’t a park that’s being used by small children.”

Shelton says he has turned to the police for enforcement, but hasn’t had much success.

“The police feel that it’s not their responsibility to enforce the rules of that park,” Shelton said, “so my question is: Who is responsible?”

But police officers say they can enforce the rules, but they are not laws so there is little enforcement possible.

“The lion’s share of complaints that we get,” said Sgt. Neil Hennelly, “is violating park hours. But there’s no municipal code for that offense. When we find them in the park, we just make them leave.”

Hennelly says he has fielded complaints about the people using the park who are not West Linn residents.

“According to (the complaining resident), the out-of-towners look ‘rough-and-ready.’ They’re not wearing khakis and polos,” Hennelly said, “they’re skaters. It’s a world-class park, and a great place for people to skate.”

According to Hennelly, police can’t enforce residency or manners.

“We can’t set age limits,” he said, “and we can’t dictate who can use the park based on Zip Codes. That idea is unconstitutional and unconscionable.”

But Pierce challenged the council to take action to preserve domestic tranquility.

“Our loosely-formed group that we are calling the Friends of Tanner Creek Park want action,” Pierce said.

The call was for a taskforce to institute changes, including perhaps a vigilante group whose members would patrol the park to keep out the undesirables.

That idea was refuted by one of the skaters.

“Oregon is the Mecca as far as skateparks are concerned,” he said. “And if they think this park is bad, they should check out Burnside.”

The council decided to hold a future worksession to hear ideas and explore options.

Staff reporter Andrew Miner contributed to this article.

6 Comments

  1. Rough-and-ready, huh? That guy looks like Mr. White, Harvey Keitel’s character in Reservoir Dogs. Now that’s rough-and-ready. I wonder if the local vigilante group that keeps out the “undesireables” might consider taking a hipper name? Something like Sharks or Jets? Those are much better names for rumbling.

  2. I betcha if you put a lump of coal up that yuppie’s ass, you’d get a diamond. Maybe his ass diamonds helped pay for his Mc Mansion?

  3. Day Reah on August 28, 2006 - Reply

    These assholes need to get out more. “Rough and ready”, ready for what?

    Somehow better makes friends with those neighbors.

  4. Those bastards are not fooling anyone, they hate kids too. If they can scare away the adult skaters there will be no effective advocate for skateboarding usingthe park. That park is too gnarly for the kiddies, the place would get overrun by BMX

    All we can do is be pleasant and respectful to show the good side of “the adult skater problem.” I always figure the guy isn’t talking about me anyway.

    A letter to the editor would be in order.

  5. Phil Martinez on August 31, 2006 - Reply

    This action being taken by neighborhood residents is ridiculous. Living in an affluent area and providing a “world class skatepark” does not give only your neighborhood the right to use it. Had they really wanted that to happen, they should have put it at their Country Club. Then the F*&^ing yuppies and baby boomers could have dropped their kids off while they enjoyed happy hour. And I dont know about you, but no matter how old I was, i couldnt drag my but out of bed at 5am to skate. Apparently these folks aren’t scared about teaching kids to lie in order to achieve results.

  6. who gives a farg if kids or whoever are doing drugs or such. let them be and tell your kids to stay away from them if your nervous. god you douches that complain are just retarted people that have nothing to do but complain until you get what you want. i personally think that you all could move to my neighbourhood and see what its like here in the really ghetto where everything sucks and people are doing drugs. your suburbian area is perfect the way it is, if you have a problem call the cops…shit son.

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