Calgary seeking public input on backyard skateboard ramps
Online survey and town halls to help city decide if it should remove ban on ramps
The city is looking for feedback as to whether Calgarians should be allowed to build skateboard ramps in their backyards.
Ramps and other skateable surfaces have been banned from private property since 1986 under the city's land use bylaw.
But local skaters say the rule is outdated and not in line with other municipalities.
"[We] looked at 10 other major Canadian cities to look for comparable bylaws and they came up empty," said Zev Klymochko, founder of the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts. "People should be able to pursue recreational activities on their own property, there shouldn't be laws restricting it. It's not hurting anyone."
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While some Calgarians may be worried about noise, there are already robust bylaws to ensure skateboard ramps are not being used in the middle of the night, says Klymochko.
He adds that skateboarding is no louder than other activities like playing hockey in backdoor rinks, shooting hoops on the driveway or jumping on trampolines.
"The guys that grew up skateboarding are now having families and they're doing it altogether, so it's becoming more of an acceptable activity."
In June, Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley successfully brought forward a notice of motion to council to relax the rules surrounding backyard skateboard ramps.
City administration has been instructed to engage with Calgary communities on the issue and report its findings to council in the spring.
The public is invited to take an online survey through the city's website or attend one of the upcoming town halls: