Skateboarding ban, dollar requests dot redevelopment agenda

With skateboarders continuing to damage property downtown, city officials are hoping to lay the groundwork for a new ordinance banning skateboarding.

Members of the Carson City Redevelopment Authority Citizen's Committee have spent more than a month working with the district attorney's office to create the new ordinance that would prevent skateboarding and rollerblading in downtown.

Several businesses in areas such as Telegraph Square have complained of property damage and danger to pedestrians by careless skateboarders.

The committee has deferred action for months, trying to reach a compromise with skateboarders in recent weeks. Redevelopment Director Rob Joiner said he hopes the advisory committee takes action and forwards the ordinance request to the Redevelopment Authority and city Board of Supervisors.

The proposed ordinance is supported by the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Mainstreet Council. Mainstreet Chairman Willie Kershner noted in a letter to the redevelopment committee that the dollars invested in the downtown are paying off, but skateboarding detracts from the ambiance of the historic downtown area and deters people from frequenting the area.

"We recognize that skateboarding is a popular activity with today's youth, and we do not believe most skateboard participants engage in the sport with a total disregard for the consequences," Kershner wrote. "But we believe there are other areas more conducive to the sport, such as the Mills Park skate park. We do not believe that activities such as skateboarding in the area are conducive to those efforts at revitalizing the downtown."

The move comes at an important time for Telegraph Square merchants who have formed a marketing consortium. The group combined their marketing efforts in an attempt to attract customers to the downtown area. They are building on the joint advertising idea by planning a series of events to attract more people downtown.

The group is asking for $5,250 of redevelopment money to help fund a Telegraph Square Marketing brochure which will highlight shops and activities in the area; an Easter party at the square complete with the Easter Bunny and a Mother's Day Tea party.

The redevelopment committee will also receive an update on several projects partially funded with redevelopment incentive money, including the Washington Street Station.

The Golden Spike renovation has been stalled in bureaucratic waters since December. A few feet of the building's Carson Street front lies in the Nevada Department of Transportation's right of way, and NDOT recently granted an easement for the building.

Redevelopment on the old Spike building started in September and demolition began in October. Plans are to turn the building into a Victorian/Western themed retail-office center with more than 20,000 square feet of office space. About $100,000 of redevelopment incentive money has been committed to the project.

What: Carson City Redevelopment Citizen's Committee

When: today, 5:15 p.m.

Where: City Hall's Capitol Conference Room, 201 N. Carson St.


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