The Cape Charles Town Council met in special session to determine the fate of the skateboard park that currently resides at the corner of Plum and Madison. While the park has fallen into a minor disrepair, the biggest issue is the location. It was discovered several months ago that the footprint of the park actually extends 7 feet over into the adjacent property. Given the existing easement, the park could lose up to 30% of its area.
The skateboard park was envisioned and brought to life by local resident Jim Mahaffey. After several meetings, some donated materials by Dave Fauber, Cape Charles finally had place where skaters could work out legally.
However, as was noted by Town Manager Brent Manuel, that block is in transition. Three houses are slated for construction at that location. Given the turnover, council is looking for alternatives to the present spot, or if it even wants to have a skateboard park at all.
The consensus was that the current location was not suitable, and that the park would have to come down. Councilman Bannon thought keeping the skate park was a good idea, and offered that it should go in Central Park. Councilwoman Natali vehemently disagreed, noting that skaters would take advantage and use the sidewalks as well. Natali added that the open space area near the Keck wells might be a good location.
Councilwoman Sullivan said that the town could use that area to construct a complex which included a basketball court, skate park and an off-lead dog park (the dog park has been her pet project, pun intended, for almost 15 years). Councilman Andy Buchholz added that if they were going to leverage the Keck property, batting cages and an official soccer field could also be constructed.
Mayor Proto asked that a special work session be added to the calendar in August to flesh out some of these ideas. It was also noted that the upcoming Community Enhancement Board could be leveraged to explore grant and funding opportunities.
Town Manager Manuel told council that if they were to go that route, the complex should be added to the Comprehensive Plan, and that the Planning Commission needs to be involved sooner rather than later. Manuel noted that it was easier to get grants for projects that already exist as part of the Comp Plan.