By CLAIRE ST. JOHN
Linda Garcia's three sons love to skate.
As many parents do, the Twain Harte woman drives her sons to Sonora's skate park and sits on a bench until her kids have had their fill of doing ollies and grinding rails.
Although she loves the park, it's a drive and a wait that not every parent is willing to make.
But those drives could become a thing of the past:
The Twain Harte Design Review/Planning Advisory Committee last night approved a skate park proposed for Eproson Park. Plans next go to the Tuolumne County Building Department for a permit.
Drainage work could begin as early as next week, said Twain Harte Community Services District General Manager Don Kasso, and the park could be complete by November.
Plans for the 3,600-square-foot park, pending for nearly two years, won approval on a 3-1 committee vote, with member Marcella Campbell dissenting.
The split reflected a town divided on the issue.
"There's a large portion of the community that would wait for the first stumble and say I told you so,'" said committee member John Kinsfather.
"They'd like to see the skate park (idea) go away," added Kasso.
But a skate park committee co-led by Garcia and made up of parents, community members and skaters raised $50,000 to build the skate park.
Under the plan, the park will be owned by the Community Services District and maintained by the committee volunteers.
"Those who (raised the money) are the ones whose kids really need it and want it," said advisory committee member Marcella Campbell.
But Campbell was more concerned about those who didn't work for the park and might abuse it.
Despite concerns about vandalism, liability and a negative attitude toward skateboarders in the community, three committee members voted to approve plans for a 40-by-90-foot skate area surrounded by 7-foot ornamental iron fence.
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