City of Pleasanton

PLEASANTON — The city plans to roll out the next phase of its new skate park facility.

In a unanimous vote on Dec. 1, the Pleasanton City Council approved a design budget of $400,000 to begin the conceptualization of a new skate site at the Ken Mercer Sports Park.

"This is something that our youth has been waiting for," Mayor-elect Karla Brown said. "When it does come forward, hopefully COVID won't be a problem anymore, but it is an individual activity — something people can do without touching each other."

Based on recommendations by the planning commission on Nov. 10, the existing skate park on Hopyard Road, which sits adjacent to the sports park, will either undergo upgrades and repairs or be demolished and configured as part of the new area.

In 2014, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified skate parks as one of the city’s recreational deficiencies. To meet the demands of the growing community, the city needed to add another half-acre skate park.

After comparing local parks with those in Fremont, Newark and Milpita, staff decided the Ken Mercer Sports Park was the best location. The council had also considered Val Vista and Bernal community parks as local sites. Community input gathered by staff indicated that facility factors deemed essential included: adequate lighting and parking, natural landscape, grass shade areas, convenient access to bike racks and restrooms.

Residents who participated in the public hearing on Dec. 1 said having enough acreage to avoid collisions along with proper lighting were critical. They also asked for different levels of ramps to accommodate varying degrees of expertise.

Construction costs for skate parks of equivalent size in the Bay Area range from $1 million to $3 million. According to the staff report, the sports park site would likely fall into the middle to upper range because much of the framework is currently in place.

"The site already has most of the necessary infrastructure, which would mean a shorter design and construction process," said Michele Crose, assistant city director. “It's less expensive to construct, thereby noise and light impacts would be minimal, because there are already existing lights and some noise from the other activities occurring in the park."

Next steps for the project include a review of the sports park location to determine plans for expansion or implementation of a new park; conceptual drawings, which will provide the council and public an opportunity to review; and identifying various funding sources. Once approved, the project could be completed in 16 to 24 months.

"I remember when that first skate park was being advocated for and built,” said Councilmember Julie Testa. “... our community has outgrown it; it's time for another one."

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