Toward the end of last year, a divided City Council approved building a skatepark along Paseo Padre Parkway next to the water park.
Even though neighbors on the other side of Paseo Padre objected, and the city acknowledged there were a couple other workable sites, the council majority argued they needed to approve the project at that site so it could get built this year, 2011. The city has been wanting to build a permanent skatepark for about a decade.
The neighbors sued, and the city realized that its studies weren’t likely to stand up in court.
So tonight the council agreed to withdraw the project approval and approve new studies to hopefully get the skatepark built in 2012.
But the council still wasn’t unified over whether to consider another site, in this case near the Teen Center, across Paseo Padre from some office buildings. That’s where the neighbors, who sued the city want it.
Councilmembers Anu Natarajan and Sue Chan (Chan, BTW asked great questions tonight) thought the city should do sound studies at both the site near the water park and the site near the teen station.
City Attorney Harvey Levine effectively agreed.
But Mayor Wasserman and Councilmembers Harrison and Dutra opposed the study on the premise that if it showed there was less noise problems at the teen center site, the council might have to move it there or pay for more studies to defend putting it near the water park and across the street from the homes.
It was a peculiar argument, especially since the city attorney said they had nothing to worry about. It was as if especially Harrison and Wasserman, annoyed at the neighbors and full of machismo, didn’t want to risk finding out that the other site might be superior, and that they might have made a mistake last year.
Anyway, the park is delayed, and the council is still dead set on building the skatepark near the waterpark.