Calgary

Calgary seeking public input on backyard skateboard ramps

The city is looking for public feedback on whether a 29-year-old bylaw should be updated to allow skateboard ramps on residential properties.

Online survey and town halls to help city decide if it should remove ban on ramps

Calgary skater Zev Klymochko (right) has been lobbying the city to change its land use bylaw so that people can build skateboard ramps on private property. (Tim Smith)

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But local skaters say the rule is outdated and not in line with other municipalities.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."

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.

Zev Klymochko, the founder of the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts, talks about the City of Calgary's ban on backyard skateboard ramps. 4:53

The public is invited to take an online survey through the city's website or attend one of the upcoming town halls:

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