Dog and skate park gaining momentum

Photos Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Mountain View’s Rengstorff Skatepark, left, provides a template for what could go in Los Altos’ Lincoln Park. Catherine Stansbury, below, who grew up in Los Altos Hills, wants a dog park at Lincoln for pet-loving residents.

Multiple petitions and an unofficial newspaper poll reveal that Los Altos residents are warming to the idea of a combination dog and skate park in Lincoln Park.

Reviving a proposal from 2012, Skateworks owner Jason Strubing is advocating construction of a skate park at the southern end of Lincoln Park, the 1.3-acre, city-owned slice of land that runs parallel to Foothill Expressway.

Strubing has two new allies in his push, along with hundreds of signatures on a petition.

Catherine Stansbury, who grew up in Los Altos Hills, has dreams of a dog park. Now a San Martin-based dog trainer, she presented her plan to the Los Altos City Council and collected more than 1,000 signatures supporting a dog park in Lincoln Park.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was in sixth grade,” she said. “It’s good, safe fun for everyone.”

Stansbury said she was “very passionate” about the proposal, which she believes will put Los Altos “on the map.”

“I’ve invested hours, but it’s all for a good cause,” she said. “Outsiders say a dog park will mean they will stay in town longer, and kids can meet kids from other communities.”

Zach Wormhoudt, a skate park architect and longtime friend of Strubing’s, has built hundreds of parks around the U.S. He said skate parks comfortably complement other park uses.

“Generally speaking, municipal skate parks are usually in park settings with other recreation,” Wormhoudt said. “Dog/skate is pretty common – more like standard.”

Wormhoudt said he is familiar with the Lincoln Park location and believes that it has a lot of potential.

“Successful parks are more than just a skate park stuck in a corporate yard,” he said. “They’re integrated into a park setting.”

Informal poll shows support

As of press time, 144 people took a Town Crier poll about a new skate park. The question did not include a dog park. Of the respondents, 103, or 72 percent, supported a Lincoln Park skate park; 18, or 13 percent, endorsed the idea of a skate park but elsewhere in Los Altos; and 22, or 15 percent, opposed a skate park altogether.

Lincoln Park neighbors are ambivalent about sharing the grassy area. Susana Leung, administrative assistant at Foothills Congregational Church, said the church enjoys having quiet green space nearby.

“I’m concerned about the noise factor,” she said. “We’re not opposing it, but we enjoy the open space.”

Leung added that she was concerned about how her own dog would deal with the proximity to skateboards.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, located in the middle of Lincoln Park, did not respond to the Town Crier’s request for comment.

Because Lincoln Park is publicly owned, advocates of the dog and skate park must work closely with the city.

Councilman Jean Mordo said proponents should develop a proposal with the appropriate city staff, including Manny Hernandez, director of recreation and community services, and present it to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“With their support, they can make a proposal to the council,” Mordo added. “Now is a good time.”

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