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November 25, 2009 > Union City re-opens skate-park, changes permit procedures

Union City re-opens skate-park, changes permit procedures

By Shavon Walker

The city's skate park has been re-opened on a trial basis. Deputy City Manager and Leisure Services Director Tony Acosta and Leisure Services Manager Jill Stavosky toured the park and discovered the bars near the entrance had been bent to allow access around the locked gate. There was a large amount of graffiti, much of it gang-related, and refuse.

Acosta noted young adults, mostly in their early-20s and from the west side of town, were most likely to be seen using the park in its current state. This could cause a problem for younger children using the skate park.

The lock was removed but, to date, none of the skaters have used the gate for entry. There will be one staff member available to supervise park use. If skaters are unwilling to keep the park in good condition, it may be decommissioned and used for another purpose.

BMX bikes are still not allowed to be used in the skate park. Bikes are much faster than skateboard and their presence would increase the risk of injury to skaters. Certain BMX accessories can also damage concrete. Additionally, BMX bikers are accustomed to riding in dirt, which cushions their fall; there would be no such cushioning in the skate park. A suggestion was made to acquire the dirt lot at the northwest corner of Alvarado-Niles Road and I-880 but further analysis is needed.

During the October 13, 2009 City Council meeting, Union City Youth Soccer League and their families stated their dissatisfaction with field permit procedures and outcomes. Consequently, the permit process has been amended and designated times have been created for all three fields.

Union City youth groups may use ball fields and open grass until 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, and Saturday. Adult, private or commercial groups may use ball fields and open grass on weekdays after 7 p.m. and on Sunday.

Shorty Garcia Park may be used by youth groups until 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday, all day Saturday and 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Sunday. Weekdays after 8 p.m., Friday evenings and Sundays after 12 p.m. are for adult, private or commercial groups. Adult rates will be charged for all groups on Sundays.

Youth groups may use Accinelli Park until 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and on Sundays. Weekdays after 7 p.m. and Saturdays after 12 p.m. are open to adult, private or commercial groups.

Permit periods were designated as follows:

Long-term reservations (defined as two or more days of use) will be accepted twice yearly. Groups or leagues requesting use of the field during Period 1 (January 1 to June 30) should submit their permits through November. All requests will be reviewed and approved permits will be issued by the second week of December.

Permit applications for Period 2 (July 1 to December 31) should be submitted through May. Approved permits will be issued by the second week of March.

Late applications will not be processed until two weeks after the deadline. Single-day use reservations may be submitted up to six months in advance; reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis though there will be consideration for user priority.

No food or beverages, except water, are allowed on any synthetic turf field. Groups breaking this rule will be fined. Permit holders are liable for any damage or extra cleaning of the facilities or neighboring structures. Groups exceeding their allotted time and delaying a waiting party will be fined. Deposits will be a maximum of $500 for non-profit groups. The field-use policy, retroactively effective as of November 1 2009, supersedes earlier versions.

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