City Sues Skateboard Shop over Illegal Construction of Skate Park
The Seattle city government has filed a suit against a Capitol Hill skate shop, alleging that the store had facilitated the illegal construction of a skate park on a designated bird habitat.
The lawsuit named skateboarding shop 35th North as the leading and only defendant, as the store was the only one in the city that was invited to partake in a contest that challenged participants to build a skate park from scratch or to add to an existing one.
Nike SB and TransWorld SKATEboarding Magazine conducted the contest, inviting 14 skate shops throughout the US. The companies gave participants $500 and some “necessities” to carry out the construction, the lawsuit said.
35th North answered the call and built a skate bowl on Green Lake’s Duck Island – an island operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation that is only accessible by boat or swimming. The island is also officially off-limits to the public. SeattlePI reported that the city did not give any permission to build on the island and condemned the construction which damaged wildlife and animal habitats.
News of the skate park’s construction surfaced in August, when a video detailing how the bowl was made went live on the TransWorld contest page.
Environmentally Critical Area
According to a statement from the City Attorney’s Office, the concrete structure was built on an environmentally critical area. Proper restoration of the site would take money in the “low six figures.”
The lawsuit additionally stated that 35th North was one of three winners of the contest who were given an additional $1,000 to build another spot or to improve on their project. The Seattle skate shop was later disqualified when organizers learned that the park had been built without authorization.
The skate shop and 20 “Jane and John Does” cut down trees and vegetation on the island and did not acquire any permission for any sort of construction at the site, the lawsuit claimed. The city said that it expects to uncover the identities of the people who participated in building the bowl as the case plays out.