City extends time for skate park

The Huntington Beach City Council voted Monday to extend an exclusive negotiating period with Vans, which has been working with the city to build, run and maintain a skate park.

In January, the city entered into a six-month, with an additional optional three-month, exclusive negotiation period with VF Outdoor, Inc. to build a state-of-the-art skate park on 2.7 acres on Center Avenue near Gothard Street.

Vans and the city are extending the negotiating period for another six months until March, because the environmental impact report, which was approved in April, is taking longer than expected, said Director of Economic Development Stanley Smalewitz.

"If it was up to Vans and me personally, the construction would be already completed," he said.

The council also voted to allocate $60,000 toward the environmental review. If Vans ends up not building the skate park, the city will be reimbursed, according to a city staff report.

Vans approached the city earlier this year about building the skate park. The all-American skating company proposed to build a 12,000-square-foot skate plaza, a 15,000-square-foot skate bowl area, a walking space and a shop.

The skate park is expected to operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and host about 15 large and 12 small events throughout the year. The large events are expected to last for a few days and attract thousands of visitors to the city. The smaller events would attract about 300 to 500 people.

For about 20 years, the proposed piece of land where the skate park will be built was zoned for a residential project with some affordable housing component to it. The city will have to change the land zoning before building the park.

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