Skateboarding gets banned at Borchard Shopping Center, City begins receiving complaints about skateboarding in the Downtown area.
In response to pressure from the Downtown Merchants Association, Ventura City Council creates City Council Subcommittee on Skateboarding, with the purpose of exploring the possibility of creating a skatepark.
The City Council Subcommittee on Skateboarding identifies Mission Park as the proposed site for a first-class skateboard facility capable of hosting sanctioned competitions and serving riders of all skill levels. City Council approves $250,000 for the project. Specifically, the idea was a skate plaza, a concept that would be brought to life elsewhere by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek.
The City Council accepts a suggestion to split the Mission Park project into three small “skate tracks” and allocates approximately $45,000 to each miniature skate track, hiring Driveway Specialists Inc. from Thousand Oaks to implement plans drafted by Purkiss Rose, RSI.
Ventura’s skate tracks officially open in July.
On behalf of local skaters unhappy with the cramped designs and lack of amenities, local skateboarder Chris Long writes to Ventura City Council asking for drinking fountains and inquiring about the possibility of expanding the skate tracks. Daryl Wagar responds, and the City installs the first drinking fountain at the Pacific High skate track.
Long writes another letter to City Council, this time receiving a response from Mayor Jim Friedman, stating that “City Council is enthusiastic about youth recreation opportunities,” and also sends a second letter to The Ventura County Star regarding skateboarding, published February 1998.
Long sends another letter to The Los Angeles Times Ventura County Edition regarding skateboarding, published September 28, 1998 and stating that the community has a real need to improve the parks.
Despite a groundswell of community support for improvements to the tracks, the remaining $114,000 earmarked for the skateparks is reportedly re-allocated to improvements on the gazebo in Plaza Park.
Skate Street Ventura opens on Knoll Drive, supplying a world-class skatepark that attracts tourists and media from around the world for a solid 3 years.
Skate Street moves locations and begins their transition into Alpine, local skaters turn their attention back to the public parks and Long applies for grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, which was ultimately rejected because Ventura “is too affluent a community.”
A hand-written petition generates over 1,000 signatures of support for improvements to the skate tracks.
Under the grassroots name Ventura County Skateboarders, Long organizes townhall meeting and contacts professional skateboarder and TV star Rob Dyrdek who offers a $250,000 match grant to the City of Ventura for the purpose of skatepark improvements. Incumbent Brian Brennan attended this meeting on behalf of the City of Ventura. Unfortunately this offer never came to fruition.
Long legally establishes the Ventura Skatepark Improvement Committee (VSIC), a grassroots lobbying organization composed of parents, local business owners, skateboarders and concerned citizens.
VSIC and local citizens raise $2,500 through grassroots fundraising efforts.
Ventura Parks and Recreation Commission creates a new Subcommittee to investigate the feasibility of skate track improvements. Members include Sharon Troll, Bill Varela, Mike Montoya, and Jerry Revard, who meet with Chris Long.
VSIC conducts a walk-through of the Pacific and West Park skate tracks with Mike Montoya and Sharon Troll.
VSIC files official city and state paperwork required to raise funds for skatepark improvements. Long moves to San Francisco for family / career concerns.
From San Francisco, Long files second VSIC application for 501c(3) non-profit status which comes back rejected.
VSIC applies for a second grant from Tony Hawk Foundation, which again comes back rejected because Ventura “is too affluent a community.” VSIC creates skatepark support decks to raise operating money and generate awareness for the cause, raising approximately $5,000.
Long moves back to Ventura, re-establishes VSIC and launches venturaskateparks.org to again generate awareness about the need to upgrade the skate tracks.
VSIC launches online petition that generates an additional 1,100 signatures of support.
Serio Skateboard Shop becomes the official headquarters of VSIC. Second round of skatepark support boards get pressed. VSIC succeeds in persuading the Parks & Recreation Commission to remove the shrubbery and lawn at the Pacific skate track, in the hopes of cleaning up the area and prepping for potential rebuild.
VSIC establishes fundraising partnership with venturalocal.com, a local real estate firm willing to give a proceed of agent commissions better skateparks in Ventura.
Long takes a position as website developer for Brian Enright of www.highrises.com, where he meets Katrina Maksumik. Ideas as to how to improve the skate tracks are discussed regularly. (Unbeknownst to either of us at that time, Katrina would go on to work for the City and write the grant proposal that would succeed in getting us the State grant).
Chris Jay of the Ventura County Reporter interviews Long, Jeff Stern of Spohn Ranch skateparks reaches out and offers to donate design services in kind. Spohn Ranch delivers a conceptual re-rendering of the Pacific skate track.
VSIC prints the second round of skatepark support boards and continues to generate awareness for the cause.
Marty Armstrong of the MyOcean Foundation, Jeff Stern of Spohn Ranch Skateparks and Paul Drevenstedt from the City of Ventura Parks Commission join VSIC.
Jackie Pearce and the Westside Community Council join the growing community interest and plans to rebuild West Park intensify. Meetings are held with several people from the community including Jared Sapp, Roger Thompson, Shane Mooney and others.
Katrina Maksumik submits a grant application to the state of California.
COVID hits, everything goes on pause.
The City of Ventura receives word that the grant application was accepted, and is awarded approximately 2 million dollars for improvements to the West Park skate track.