Milford Skatepark popular with first year skateboarders,
It’s been a year since Milford Skatepark opened and it has proven to be very popular with almost everyone.
Neighbors at the skatepark complained about excessive noise, profanity, and after dark use of the park near the Milford Civic Center complex at 1100 Atlantic St.
Jeff Schodowski recently attended a village council meeting where he called for faster repairs on behalf of three of the four residences about 100 feet from the skate park, after several complaints to police in recent months.
“What I want the board and the police to understand is: imagine a sound you really don’t like – a crying baby, fingernails on a chalkboard – then repeat that sun up and down “said Schodowski. I’ve been told from the start (that) it’s really popular when it starts and then it wears off. And that has not been our experience.
He said those noises included howling profanity, loud music and the constant hum of skateboards hitting concrete, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, sometimes with park participants staying past closing time. at dusk. Beyond the noise, he said he also saw children urinating in Fairgrounds in broad daylight.
“As owners, we have always felt that we expected a certain serenity in our own backyards,” he continued. “I’m not against the skatepark… A lot of people are enthusiastic about the park. But there is a set of owners directly affected – not every other day or every two weeks, but every possible opening day. “
On a recent Friday afternoon, the park was empty just before 2 p.m. and quiet when a few skaters showed up separately and soon after were followed by several more.
Tim Beckett, a 32-year-old Howell resident, arrived with a skateboard and music which he started playing at low volume.
Beckett said he visits the park about once a month when the weather is nice and finishes his job of painting houses in the area early. Ironically, one of the four two-story houses seen across JD Caswell Drive in the Riverside subdivision, he points out, as the one he’s been working on is impacted by the noise of the skatepark and he lifts a eyebrow when he learns that the neighbors are upset.
“This park is a great way to keep kids out of trouble and the streets,” Beckett said. “I like (skating), it’s therapeutic… We could go skating in the subdivision and really piss them off. If there were fights I could see (the neighbors getting angry), but it’s not fair if they just hear clicks or “phew!” “
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Andrew Wahowski, a 16-year-old Milford resident and a junior at Detroit Catholic Central, said he was not used to the relative calm of the park which he increasingly enjoyed over the summer during his hiatus snowboarding. He noted that the majority of the noise comes solely from park use and breaks as he considers what neighbors hear from large numbers of skaters.
“I never thought about it before, but 15 to 20 skaters probably add up (which makes a lot of noise),” Wahowski said. “I probably wouldn’t want to live there.
Few official police reports in first year
Hometown Life has requested all Milford police reports filed regarding the Skatepark since it opened. Eight reports were provided, mostly complaints of noise or after-hours use of the park. Three complaints were filed in the first week of November and only one complaint was reported in June, August and September. A March 13 report stamped at 7:56 pm simply said, “Skatepark complaint”.
The most egregious incident was a report of assault and bodily harm on August 19, but the victim refused medical treatment or to press charges against his attacker, who he said beat him and then threw him back. kicked while on the ground.
Police Chief Tom Lindberg said he was surprised at the number of reports filed, as he expected it to be “a lot more” than eight. He noted that a formal report is not necessary when officers stop regularly and efforts are made to stop and speak with children and adults.
Lindberg said that often the complaints are nothing criminal or on which the police can take action “in addition to asking children to refuse the radio.”
“As far as the complaints that come in, it’s pretty exclusive to homes across the street, and we appreciate it and understand,” Lindberg said. “It’s more about the quality of life for the neighbors, and the council is trying to figure it out. It revolves around the noise generated.
Village director Christian Wuerth said the park was very popular, which was originally planned, and could be even more so with much of last school year happening remotely.
“It’s a popular addition for sure, and at this point we’re adjusting the physical space to balance everything out,” he said. “There are growing pains and we are trying to figure out how to adapt the park and how it fits into the neighboring neighborhood.”
Schodowski said he is not asking for the park to be closed, but believes the village has given the green light to a project that places four homeowners in an impossible position on behalf of the rest of the community.
“The village had just enough money to build a park, without thinking about signage, landscaping or an operational plan to make the park an accessory, instead of something piled up on the side,” a- he declared. “They’ll slow the game down until we stop complaining, and we won’t. It does not need to be open from dusk until dawn. We would be prepared to accept reduced hours, but operationally, how do you do it? How do you tell children not to go to a park? “
Shannon Schodowski said village officials should speak to their engineers to erect a barrier, preferably natural, such as a berm and trees, because “no one wants to look at a wall.”
Wuerth said landscaping in the park is not yet complete and he hopes that will alleviate some of the noise issues. He is also reaching out to OHM engineers for possible solutions and said the council may also consider an earlier closing time for the skate park, which may require a fence.
Jeff Schodowski added that 6 to 7 foot drop arbor vitae trees that will take years to grow and ornamental grasses will not solve the problem.
“We cannot continue as we are,” he said. ” Something has to be done. “