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Apr-16-2008 21:54printcomments

'Not In My Back Yard' is Stayton's Reaction to Skate Park Idea

Stayton residents voice concerns over youth and skaters but a city board says they will explore other areas.

Skateboarders are viewed as a threat in Stayton, Oregon
Some resdients view skateboarders as a threat in Stayton, Oregon.

(STAYTON, Ore.) - A public meeting was held at 6:30 PM in Stayton at the community center Wednesday night April 16th concerning the need for a skate park and a location for it.

The 5 member Parks and Recreation panel along with City Public Works Director, Mike Faught, and Lt. Rich Sebens of the Stayton Police Department were in attendance as well as 28 members of the community, including 6 teenage skateboarders.

A presentation by Mike Faught was made about the recent request by members of the community for a skate park. It was suggested that a temporary skate park could be located at the new Santiam Station park and development, behind the Dairy Queen in what's commonly known as the flood plain.

He suggested that the equipment could be bolted down there and moved to a more permanent location at a later date for a new park that land is being sought for behind the Stayton Middle school. That park is quite a few years off before it's developed but the acquisition for the land is going on now while it's still available.

Nine members of the community where the proposed temporary skate park is to be located spoke in opposition of the park for a variety of reasons; such as, it's too close to a day care center, the noise from this skate park would carry over into the close neighborhood and be disturbing, plus the noise would be an issue for the Lakeside Assisted Living center. It was suggested that with the youths come policing problems.

Dave Nielson suggested that the skate park is not needed because Aumsville already has one that is up and running.

Aumsville chose not to have a covered swimming pool such as Stayton's and put their money instead into the skate park. He feels it would be a duplication of services for the city to build a skate park.

Some of the other residents of this area commented that it's already noisy at the park and this would just be too much. Others commented that the mix of all ages would create police and problems.

The overall consensus was "Not In My Back Yard". When asked by the parks and recreation board if they would approve of a skate park in another area, most signified yes.

The Parks and Recreation board members say they will take all public comments into consideration including written letters of support to not have the park there and will meet several more times before making a recommendation to the city council.

Ken Cartwright is the news director for KENC Community Radio, AM 1620, in Stayton Oregon and a contributing writer for If you would like to contact Ken, please visit our staff page.

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Nicole August 25, 2009 9:46 pm (Pacific time)

For God sakes Stayton needs a skate park. You wonder why kids loiter around the parks and stores getting harassed by store owners for skateboarding in parking lots?? Because Stayton refuses to build a skate park. When your a 13-14-15 year old skater, you can't drive over to Aumsville to use there skate park. Stop catering to the elderly of this town and start realizing kids also live in this town and need something fun and active to do.

alexis April 30, 2009 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

umm, we are talkin about skate board parks right? yea ok well i honestly think that we NEED open places like skate parks because it is a way to get loose and away from every one and just be yourself i mean my whole life i have been skate boearding and yess imma girl but i only go there to be by myself and i think that they are veryy important

Jackson Marsh May 13, 2008 8:26 pm (Pacific time)

Skateparks almost always result in something good, and for those that say otherwise, they are to ignorant to realize that this sport is a new trend that is here to stay

Ralph April 20, 2008 11:26 am (Pacific time)

Vic, Not true. In Canby the neighboring industrial park had vandalism problems, dumpster fires and they even moved lights from a flag to light the skate park at night. At one point police were asked to specifically patrol the park at night due to damage going on in the area. I am in favor of skate parks, as long as they are in easy to patrol areas, like next to used city facilities. Maybe put one near the pool so more people will be around to monitor the activity. The Canby model -- with the park off by itself on a dead-end street -- is NOT the way to do it.

Vic April 18, 2008 7:33 am (Pacific time)

I have been involved in four skate park projects every case, it was a good thing and the paranoid fears of the uptight nevr materialized. In Canby, teen-related crime went down. For God's sake, is just a sport! What would you rather have kids doing?

Suzanne Devlin April 17, 2008 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

Lighten up, Stayton. Skateboarding is a sport. You should be glad these kids want to skateboard at these parks rather then be out stealing your car. It's fun driving by Salem and Aumsville skateboard parks and seeing kids having fun.

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