Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Planned skate board park site to change following opposition

NORTH TAMPA — Skaters looking to get in a little board time in Town 'N Country will have to travel farther north.

That's because county officials have moved the proposed site for a skate park after heavy opposition by residents in a neighboring community.

The skate park had been slated for an undeveloped piece of land across from the Upper Tampa Bay YMCA off Waters Avenue. The park would have been adjacent to the southern portion of Fountainview Estates, a 546-unit mobile home park for seniors near the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

Now officials are considering a parcel of green space next to the fire station, which is at 5209 Ehrlich Road. A public meeting will be held on June 8 to discuss the latest proposal.

The new location could mean a higher price tag or a smaller park, said John Brill, a parks department spokesman. Original plans called for a 10,000-square-foot skate park featuring humps and bumps, a smooth concrete bowl and rails. The park was budgeted to cost about $500,000. But the Ehrlich Road location would require that restrooms and parking space be built, unlike the trail location which already had those amenities.

"There's a possibility that we'd have to find some other money or the park could be a little smaller than the original intent because of the infrastructure not being there," Brill said.

In early May, after residents of Fountainview Estates learned of the proposed Waters Avenue site, they sounded off during a community meeting with the county's parks and recreation staff and with County Commissioner Ken Hagan. The meeting, held at the neighborhood's clubhouse, drew more than 100 people.

"It's going to be open seven days a week … as late as 11 p.m. in the evening," resident Frank Fucci, 60, said in a recent interview. "With something like that you're going to have noise, lighting issues and something within 75-feet of residences. There's no way they could effectively control the noise and light pollution."

The community also petitioned the County Commission with more than 300 signatures of opponents to that site.

"Anytime we do a site location we always want to be a good neighbor," Brill said. "We hate to build something where we're not wanted."

The new proposal, next to a fire station, does have its perks.

"If someone gets hurt, EMS is right next door," Brill said.

Carlton Lewis, a community activist in Town 'N Country, called the move of the skate park location a missed opportunity.

"Instead of having them in your shopping malls and driveways, they (skaters) would have congregated there," Lewis said. "Plus this park is going to be supervised. I felt it was a win-win for us all around."

The county has two other skate parks planned for sites in Apollo Beach and Brandon.

Nicole Hutcheson can be reached at or (813)226-3405.

Fast facts

Public meeting

The county parks and recreation department will host a public meeting about the proposed skate park site at 6:30 p.m. June 8 at Ben Hill Middle School, 5200 Ehrlich Road. For more information, contact Steve Valdez, (813) 307-8386.

Planned skate board park site to change following opposition 05/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs position battles; Defining the receiver competition


    TAMPA — The Bucs' top four receivers are etched in granite with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

    Bucs wide receiver Josh Huff makes a juggling catch as cornerback Robert McClain closes in Tuesday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Pinellas aims to close reading gap between boys and girls


    Principal Kristy Cantu pored over Sutherland Elementary's test scores last year, looking for trends.

    Pinellas County teachers are being asked this year to pay closer attention to how their lessons might better engage boys. The district has come up with a "gender equity self-reflection" rubric for teachers to follow, with the goal of improving boys' performance in English language arts. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  3. Photo of the Day for August 21, 2017 - Trapped Under a Rainbow

    Human Interest

    'Trapped Under a Rainbow,' today's Photo of the Day, comes from Patti Presnell of Valrico, FL.

  4. Officials search for missing jet skier near Courtney Campbell Causeway


    The Fish & Wildlife Conservation, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Tampa Police Department were searching for a missing jet skier Monday morning, according to broadcast reports.

  5. The Who's Roger Daltrey coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    The Who may be nearing the end of their touring days. But Roger Daltrey is not.

    Roger Daltrey performing in Tampa in 2015.