Those who hope to legally ride scooters in Curt Pernice Skate Park will finally get their wish.
The Ripon City Council on Tuesday took that first step towards making it official, approving the first-reading amendment to the “Skateboard facilities” ordinance.
The city-owned skate park currently allows riders of skateboards and in-line skates but not bicycles and scooters.
The changes, once enacted, would be for a one-year trial period but could be permanent after – that’s if no problems come out of it.
“We have to change with the times,” Mayor Mike Restuccia said.
No doubt, liability was a concern.
According to Recreation Director Kye Stevens, several state Assembly Bills were recently passed that addresses limited liability albeit not completely eliminated to cities in California.
“The liability is limited during the performance of the trick itself, but not related to other aspects of the skate park. For instance, if a section of concrete was damaged and an individual using the skate park was injured, the City would be liable,” he said in his report.
Stevens added: “By adding additional wheeled devices, the City could be increasing the liability by virtue of more people in the park, collisions, or the scooter causing damages to the park.”
He noted that since 2015 the indemnity in these matters has expanded to include scooters.
Stevens met with parents on March 19 to discuss rules of the skate park. “They were interested in changing the park rules to allow for scooter access,” he said.
From there, Stevens along with City Administrator Kevin Werner and Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde examined some of the options – in this case, the aforementioned liability.
They also looked at the some of the neighboring cities – Modesto, Stockton, Riverbank, Manteca, Elk Grove, Lathrop and Oakdale – to check out their rules and ordinances.
Most of the rules are not actively enforced, Stevens said.
“The City of Lathrop has an ordinance that states ‘no bikes or scooters are allowed’ in the skate park. However, they do allow scooters at their skate park,” he said.
Elected leaders, meanwhile, were unanimous in approving the change.
“I have no problem with it,” Councilman Leo Zuber said.
Added Councilman Jake Parks: “I’m happy we’re doing this.”