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January 30th Skate Park Selection Committee Minutes - Draft

Skatepark Site Selection Committee Minutes Draft
Meeting: January 30, 2014

Meeting called to order:at 5:17PM by Betsy Gentile

Members present: Joe Bushey, Marty Fitzgerald, Betsy Gentile, Elizabeth McLoughlin, Jacob Roberts, Dan Sontag, Andrea Watkins

Others present: Carol Lolatte, Jeff Clark, Adam Hubbard, Les Montgomery, Karolina Oleksiw, Fric Spruyt, Francine Vallario, Patty Fitzgerald


1. PublicParticipation

Adam Hubbard apologized to the members of the committee if his remarks mailed to them on 1/23/14 had been construed as negative. His apology was accepted.

2. Approval of Minutes

Motion: Approve minutes from January 9, 2014 meeting

Vote: Motion carried

Resolved: Minutes from the meeting on January 9, 2014 were approved without modification.

3. Public Input Via Email

Carol Lolatte was asked what response was being given to emails sent by the public to the site: skateparkideas@brattleboro.org. She said that all emails are being acknowledged, the sender thanked and informed of the next SSSC meeting. It was discussed and then decided that “input suggestions” should be categorized according to topics and considered when the specific topic came up at a meeting. A question arose as to whether the emails should be made public since the privacy of the sender was a consideration. Carol proposed she would check with the BobFisher, the attorney for the town, as to how to handle this.

4. Discuss Skatepark Criteria

The reworked criteria sheet was reviewed. The design/mission statement used on the sheet was questioned. After a discussion of the wording it was agreed to keep it as written with the substitution of “criteria” for the word “mission”. After reviewing all the criteria and the factors chosen, one factor was eliminated under “Safety” and the following list was agreed upon. Public comments on the list will be welcomed until February 20, 2014, the next SSSC meeting.

Design Criteria: To identify and evaluate sites within the community that will be appropriate for a premiere, concrete, wheel-friendly skatepark in a clean, safe environment.

Criteria Factors


a. Acreage 6,500 sq. ft. minimum)

b. Meets design criteria see above)

c. Can accommodate skill/age variation

d. Property includes ability for expansion or mixed use


a. Accessible by foot/sidewalks

b. Accessible from schools

c. Parking available

d. Near neighborhoods/population density

e. Near or benefit to local retail businesses

f. Proximate to other recreational attractions

g. Proximate to restrooms/water/shade

h. Served by public transit

i. General accessibility

j. ADA accessibility

k. Liveliness - level of activity


a. Visibility

b. Ability to patrol by car/accessed by emergency services

c. Quantity of pedestrian activity

d. Ability for emergency phone/cell service

f. Traffic safety


a. Purchase price

b. Loss or gain of revenue

c. Maintenance costs

d. How is the site currently being used


a. Act250 and other land use controls

b. Flood control/drainage

c. Noise levels

d. Topography

e. Site remediation needs

f. Other physical/environmental concerns

g. Green to gray/gray to green

h. Buffers

5. Brainstorm Sites

There was a discussion whether to use Brattleboro’s “Maps Online” or printed aerial maps supplied by the Planning Services Department. It was decided to start with the latter since they already had approximately 20 possible parcels of land highlighted on them and color-coded as to ownership town, school or private). These sites had been suggested by the Recreation Department and the Planning Services Department. Members of the committee, using these maps added other potential sites they knew of or had been suggested by the public through emails or in person. All of the brainstormed sites will recompiled into a single list. For the next meeting, the committee members were asked to think of ways to narrow the list to the more viable sites.They were also asked to think of ways to score the factors on the criteria sheet.

6. Set Next Meeting:

February 20, 2014 at 5:15PM at the Gibson Aiken Center

Meeting Adjourned: at 6:43PM

Submitted by:Patty Fitzgerald


Comments | 7

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"Near Neighborhoods" should not be confused with on top of neighborhoods where adequate buffers aren't respected (so as not to repeat mistakes made in the past).

Adequate set back a safe distance away from major (hazardous) arteries leading into town with sufficient parking in-between skateboard park and access road/ sidewalks for safe drop off entering park or located off less traveled roads with speeds under 25 mph.

Given the size limitations of 6500 sq. ft. for the entire skateboard park structure, devote the majority of the overall design to provide challenging enough features such as bowls, rails and ramps to satisfy those active skateboarders who wish to improve their skills and have no other place to legally do this. To avoid an over load of congestion or friction to the flow that could conceivably be caused by designating the skateboard park available to all "wheeled sports", leave the more playground aspects to playgrounds and parking lots until the skateboard park has more room and space to be expanded and able to accommodate and include other modes of "wheeled" sports that are conversely already more accepted and have other outlets/options to express their sport here in town.

Criteria: Seasonal Usage?
Large enough and challenging enough to support skateboarding events or demonstrations.
Hours of operation and rules?
User fees to contribute to upkeep?

Is this in order of importance or will the rating system take care of this?



Not sure I see the relevance of sidewalks to the criteria if skateboarders are prohibited from using them and supposedly pose a threat to pedestrians using them. Would they have to carry their skateboards all the way from the high school, how likely is this, are there hills involved?



I do not see anything here directly addressing the impact of established park TREE or hedge removal. I'm not understanding how or the purpose of rating pedestrian activity, does this mean park users coming and going or those using the sidewalks surrounding skateboard park already, needs clarification. Have fences been discussed?


Avoiding the need for a car to get there

It says the location will be graded on if it is accessible by foot/sidewalks.

I read this as "the location needs to be one that doesn't require a car to get to." Seems smart to me.

They also mention a desire for parking, so that it is accessible by car.


If you are a Skateboarder...

If you are a skateboarder it seems you would want to skateboard via sidewalks to a skateboard park instead of carrying your board and where are these sidewalks leading from, are they continuous from and link to let's say high school or just surrounding the skateboard park area itself?. I think some of the criteria needs to be more specific if it is to be graded from 1-10 and some don't need to be graded at all, just yes or no will do but then again, is no a positive or a negative attribute and vise versa for yes, then how do you rate it?


not bad for the scooter set, but

as a skateboarder, I'd almost never ride the sidewalk if I could help it. Cracks, pitted cement, driveways, no fun... The most desireable exception would be skating sidewalks downtown, where going slowly but steadily would be my ideal way to traverse the 'one and only' having been banished from its streets.

If you're talking transportation, and accommodating skaters, the medium is a longboard, and the mode is the road.


Grading Scores

I have a suggestion for an outline to grade the Brattleboro Skateboard Park Criteria as follows:

First part of grading system process involves specific yes or no questions, Yes being rated as a positive, No rated as being a negative (no less than 10 topics for each category) developed by the committee addressing the needs/concerns submitted by all those who have expressed an interest in the project to date. Does the criteria satisfy the need, Yes or No. Score tally according to the most Yes's.

For those specific Questions addressing "Size requirements", Yes/No? {Example: Will there definitely be room for expansion?}

For those specific Questions relating to "Development Costs" and purchase price, Yes/No? {Example: Will there be a gain in revenue? or Does the budget meet additional expenses beyond the construction of the project?}

For those specific Questions addressing "Skate Park Features", Yes/No ? Example: { Will there be challenging features such as bowls, ramps and rails?}

For those specific Questions addressing "Location Requirements", Yes/No? Example: { Will there be bathrooms?}

For those specific Questions addressing "Safety Requirements", Yes/No? Example: { Are there open site lines sufficient for patrol? or Is there adequate set back from major arteries leading into town that pose hazards and higher risks for increased pedestrian use? or Will surrounding traffic maintain speeds under 25 miles per hour?}

For those specific Questions addressing "Topography Requirements", Yes /No? {Example: Is the location a safe distance away from steep hills surrounding skateboard park?}

The second part of the process would be to grade the concerns of the category "Skate Park Impacts" rated 1-5, Good to Bad, lowest score wins here.

No Less than 10 concerns expressed by the community for this section.{Example: Adequate buffer zones on all sides of Park} Rated a 3 as three sides do not respect buffers for neighborhood homes in such close proximity to skateboard activity. Downtown this would be less of an issue so 1 would be the rating there most likely.

Examples under this category are, but not limited to:

Aesthetic Alteration, Loss of Historical Green Areas, Park Use Displacement, Established Park Tree Removal and Cost, Noise Levels, Traffic Flow, Buffers, Impact of Events, Utilizing existing Hardtop or Building, Possible revenue gained by admission or seasonal pass/Helmet Use Waiver, Boost down town economy during events, Encourage local artisans to contribute to landscape design and appearance, planting shade trees, ect.

If there was a disagreement or controversy about a category Question whether Yes was actually a negative for some instead of a positive {Example: Will their be a designated area for scooters or BMV bikes to share?}a counter question would have to be offered such as; Will the park have features that will solely satisfy skilled skateboarders needs as to not inhibit flow?}

This suggestion has been submitted to the Skate Park Site Selection Committee for review tonight, Les Montgomery 2/20/2014


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