To the editor:
My knowledge of local issues is not extensive — I have lived in North Conway for less than a year now — but one thing I do know about is skate parks.
I am an expert on skate parks, having had the great misfortune of living right next to one for more than six years. And that is why I am speaking up now to warn people about the skate park proposed by the Peare family for North Conway.
The skate park I lived next to started out just like the one now proposed by the Peare family. Private citizens sought public land for the park, promising that they would raise all of the necessary funds to build the park itself, that they would maintain the park once it was built and that the park would improve the local area, including by helping local youth.
The private citizens even cajoled the local municipality by saying that they needed the government’s donation of the land first in order to raise the necessary funds from grants — just as the Peare family is doing now with regard to the state land they seek.
Ultimately, all that was promised never materialized. The municipality, in addition to donating the land, had to chip in public funds to reach the final build amount. The municipality also ended up getting stuck with maintaining the park at significant cost every year.
And the skate park itself became a nightmare for the local neighborhood: drug use and distribution, fights, assaults upon innocent locals/passersby, discrimination against minorities, litter/trash, graffiti, trespassing, injuries, dangers to small children and noise pollution.
All of these nuisances persisted despite efforts by the municipality — a wealthy suburb, no less — and local police over the years to abate them.
One of the worst effects — if the skate park is built — will be noise pollution. The quiet of the local area will be shattered forever. Local residents literally can expect a diminution in their property values and in their life expectancy — the latter because they will be subjected to extreme stress on a daily basis from, at the very least, the constant cacophony of the skateboards hitting the concrete (or metal or wooden) surfaces of the park and the skateboarders yelling and grunting as they perform moves.
I can appreciate the Peare family wanting to honor the memory of their family member. But public planning should not be dictated by emotion or sentimentality or based on a single person but by what is objectively best for the community overall. The proposed skate park would simply be a nightmare for this community.
I oppose the skate park and will do everything in my legal means to prevent it.
J. Pietrangelo, II