Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SRPNA moves to oppose current skatepark plan

UPDATE, 10/31: Letter sent today to City leaders.


Oct 2007

Re: Proposed skate plaza in Santa Rita Park.

City leaders -- The Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association has become very concerned about the proposed skate facility planned for the middle of our neighborhood park. Since it was proposed many years have passed and needs have changed.

After many years of delay, and no communication from Parks and Rec. or skate park proponents for many months, neighborhood support for this proposed project has dissipated. It has been replaced by growing concern that a large concrete skate plaza replacing one of the last usable open green-spaces in our historic park is not in the public-interest.

We consider Santa Rita Park our neighborhood's greatest asset. The park is both the geographical and cultural core of our community and its future progress is paramount in the improvement and potential of this area.

Yet, now this park does not serve our neighborhood the way it could or should. Too much of the park has become a void of fenced fields and useless space nearly impossible to traverse. The useless chopped-up fragments are further devalued by an erratic un-planned landscape and no master planning.

The future 22nd Street widening will take even more park space, leaving even less for the neighborhood. This end is not acceptable.

Today, the neighborhood association finds it unwise to endorse projects that further divide the park into special interest projects – resulting in the loss of open space, worsening the urban heat island effect and further limiting usability for the entire surrounding community.

Neighbors have mounting questions regarding the appropriateness of this proposal. Is the location and concept declared suitable years ago still relevant today? Will it serve the surrounding neighborhood? What demographic will this facility serve? Will this investment benefit our neighborhood? Who will manage this space? Who will provide security? Are other areas of the park more appropriate, such as the southeast corner of the park in the paved area between the pool and the railroad tracks?

The Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association requests the skate park project to be placed on immediate hold. We would like to meet with city staff and leaders to discuss alternatives and options. We are currently working on a new park plan with the UA Drachman Institute, which will be done by the end of the year and include exciting new visionary ideas.

Thank you,
Daniel Patterson
President, Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association


TUCSON, 9/5 -- Tonight at our monthly meeting SRPNA members voted to oppose the current plans to build a concrete skateboard park within Santa Rita Park near S. 3rd Av. and E. 21st St.

We have requested a meeting with city leaders to discuss possible solutions.

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