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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

City Awaits Responses to New Skate Park ‘Request for Proposal’

• Council Members Approved Up to $40,000 for ‘Design Element’ of Proposed Permanent Facility

BY BILL KOENEKER

On Feb. 8, what is called a Request for a Proposal or RFP was released by the city's Parks and Recreation Department to solicit proposals to complete design elements for a skate park facility to be located at Malibu Bluffs Park.
There is nothing in the RFP that states what type of skate park the city wants. Skate park designers have until March 14 to submit their proposals to Malibu City Hall.
For those interested in the details, park officials are informing would-be consultants that since the RFP never states what type of skate park the city is seeking there are no specs on what it could be.
If it is not an above ground, can that kind of equipment be eliminated?
What to do if there is no decision about seeking poured-in-place construction, which is the norm and highest quality, or how would a modular-poured-in-place be determined?
The city’s answer? “The goal for the project is that it be a permanent skate facility.
“Construction material and type of facility have yet to be determined. The consultant selected for the project will identify those items as tasks are completed.”
There are no dimensions available for the proposed skate park, according to city officials, who are letting consultants know that the actual skate facility will be determined in the second phase of conceptual design.
“The consultant selected for the project will identify those items as tasks are completed.”
Park officials are also letting consultants know that company manufacturers who sell “non-cement” skate park equipment, won’t be considered until the completion of step 2 or what they call task two, which is the conceptual design phase of the scope of work.
“The concept discussed in community meetings with the Skate Park Ad Hoc Committee was for a mixed-use skate park plaza that would combine challenging skate features with pedestrian-friendly pathways and landscaping amid a skate park layout. The design could include an all-wheel friendly features that would allow BMX and rollerblade uses. There was also discussion of a traditional style, permanent skate park specifically for skateboarding,” the RFP concludes.
At a previous meeting, the Malibu City Council, to the thunderous applause of the standing-room-only crowd of young people and skate board enthusiasts, unanimously agreed to spend up to $40,000 for design services for a new skate park at Malibu Bluffs Park.
Skate park enthusiasts praised the council’s decision. The call for design services is for a permanent facility at Bluffs Park.
There was a council chamber full of not just youngsters, but adult skateboarders and moms and dads, who came to the council chambers to express their support for a skate park and in particular a skate park at Bluffs Park.
“Think about sharing it with the children. It is a world-class location. If you oppose it, take a deep breath, but keep the kids off the street,” city council candidate Hamish Patterson said, in response to concerns raised by members of a senior citizen Tai Chi group, who expressed concerns about noise, traffic and parking.
Former planning commissioner Regan Scharr, whose son is a skateboard champion, said there are more children with a skate board than own baseball mitts. “Skateboards are not just really for children,” she said.
Last year, the city council formed the Skate Park Ad Hoc Committee to address the loss of the city’s skate park.
The committee comprised of outgoing Councilmembers Jefferson Wagner and Pamela Conley Ulich, were tasked with assessing the need for a permanent or temporary skate park, identifying potential locations with favorable zoning and community acceptance and researching funding sources and costs for new park construction.
The panel assessed several options for construction of a temporary skate park. Of the sites considered, a portion of the Malibu Bluffs Park parking lot was deemed the most feasible location.
Both council members talked about how other locations were looked at, but none proved as feasible as the Bluffs Park since the city owns the land.
“Bluffs Park is the place to put this. The kids are already there,” said Councilmember Lou La Monte. “We need to find a way to build a world-class skate park. But we need to put a temporary park in now.”
“The staff is currently working on a plan to establish a temporary skate facility at the park, including negotiating an agreement with the adjacent property owner to use a portion of his land for parking,” said Bob Stallings, the city’s parks and recreation director, in a memo to council members.

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