Mini Ramp Ban Update

It's amazing what can happen when people sit down at a table and actually talk. On September 29th a small group of local skaters and ramp owners met at a coffee shop with the powers that be from the Salt Lake Valley Health Department to discuss the ramp debacle that is Regulation 4.5.21.
Shortly after word got out about the recent ban on ramps SLVHD Executive Director, Gary Edwards, extended the proverbial olive branch to the local skate scene and asked for a few of us to meet up and share our input. Even though the normal public notices were put out, the SLC skate community was pretty much left in the dark on this one. Unless you are a regular reader of the daily paper classifieds with a fondness for the public notice section, you probably missed out as well.

Local ramp owner Nick Hale was the first unluckily recipient of the first letter from the SLV HD informing him his ramp was in violation and started the website. After seeing a poster for it, we did some research and immediately put it up on the skateutah site; simultaneously Jeremy Jones informed Burton and DVS, the Celtek folks put it out there in interweb land and so on and so on.

Gary Edwards' office contacted myself at asking for input so we organized a small meeting with some local ramp owners to get their input on the matter. Nick Hale, Ashley Bloxham, Tyson Bowerbank, his mom Kim Bowerbank and myself sat down with Edwards and Environmental Health Director, Royal DeLegge to work on some sort of compromise on the new law.

Instead of having to go in immediately on the defense, I'm sure I'm not the only one who was slightly surprised to be met by two public officials genuinely open and interested in what we had to say. Hale and Bloxham shared their concerns as homeowners and professionals with ramps who felt sighted by the law and the Bowerbank's spoke as a concerned mom and an up-and-comer with a potential career in skating. Edwards and DeLegge let us know that with the enormity of the noise ordinance, the sporting ramps clause didn't get the due attention it deserved and needs to be reworked.

Long story short, by the time you read this Edwards will be recommending to the board that the regulation get suspended until April 2009 at which time it is either removed or reworded in a manner that allows ramps to fall under the same noise ordinance guidelines as other backyard activities. At the same meeting, I will have addressed the board on that it's time skating is recognized as a legitimate sport in Utah and needs to be treated as such.

So for now your ramps are safe, I know it sounds like a sappy happy ending but sometimes that's what happens when both sides simply sit down and talk as people. Now maybe if we can do something about the crap contractors they keep hiring to build parks in SLC ...