Council holds off on skateboard ban

The council decided Tuesday to delay voting on an ordinance that would make it illegal to ride a skateboard on The Blvd. Violators would face fines between $25 to $100, according to the proposed ordinance.

LANCASTER – For now, the Lancaster City Council is holding off on a proposal to ban skateboarding and roller skating on The BLVD.

“I want to redraft this,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris, at a packed council meeting Tuesday.

The decision came after passionate testimony from more than a dozen residents both for and against a proposed ordinance and resolution that would have made it illegal to skateboard or roller skate on Lancaster Boulevard, between Sierra Highway and 10th Street West, as well as the surrounding side streets. (see the proposed “no skateboarding/ roller skating areas here“).

The City Attorney’s Office drafted the ordinance in response to complaints from residents that skateboarders posed dangers to pedestrians and drivers on The BLVD.

“Few things make me as crazy as getting out of my car and having a skateboarder whiz by me, no idea where he’s going, and I have to jump for my life,” said Diann Moskowitz.

Tenants of the Arbor Artist Lofts said skateboarders were wreaking havoc and had turned the lofts’ parking lot into a skate park.

Tenants of the Arbor Artist Lofts said skateboarders had disrupted their quality of life. They said the skateboarders were using the lofts’ parking area as a skate park and said the neighboring Pharmacy Boardshop had become a mecca for noisy skateboarders.

“I’ve had skateboarders living outside my window,” said Piper Coolidge. “I’ve had them throwing rocks at my sliding glass door.”

The ban was met with resistant by a contingent of skateboard supporters who attended Tuesday’s council meeting solely to oppose the ordinance.

Sharon Murray said skateboarding was a positive outlet for her son and many other local youths.

“If they don’t skateboard, they’re gonna do other things, and those things probably aren’t gonna be good things,” Murray said.

“These kids don’t have cars or drivers’ licenses…” said Nathan Morris of Pharmacy Boardshop. “It’s just a logical form of transportation for these kids.”

John Tietjen said his son rode a skateboard down The BLVD to get to school.

“By saying ‘no, you can’t go down Lancaster Boulevard,’ he’s got to go two or three blocks into areas that are less populated and crime could happen,” Tietjen said.

Also speaking against the ban were skaters, who felt they were being unfairly lumped in with the skateboarders.

“I get to my job by my skates,” said Muriah Chenoweth. “I need to go down the boulevard because not all the sidewalks are easy for me to actually skate on… [the ban] affects myself and also my derby team.”

Parris suggested the skateboarders use the American Heroes Park. But a speaker said that skateboarders were banned from the park, as well.

“You have security, if they see somebody doing something that’s unsafe or inappropriate, they could be ticketed and asked to leave,” said avid skater Steven Blum. “I think that would be a better idea than a ban, where you ban everybody, especially the rollarskater who doesn’t seem to be causing any issues at all.”

The council listened to nearly an hour of testimony. Many speakers were granted more than the allotted three minutes speaking time to allow for interaction with the mayor and council members.

“What I am hearing is that there are concerns by the loft residents and they’re very valid concerns…” said Housing Authority Chair Kitty Kit Yee Szeto. “I’m hearing skateboarders need to use The Blvd to go to school or travel… if there is some way we can amend the ordinance or somehow redraft it to have restrictions on time and when it can be used, when the kids can use The BLVD to skateboard and when they can’t, I think that’s a good compromise for everybody.”

Parris instructed the city manager to set up a meeting between all parties that would be affected by a proposed skateboarding ban, including the sheriff’s deputy responsible for policing The BLVD, a Pharmacy Boardshop representative, a representative from the artists’ lofts and other stakeholders.

“Let’s figure out an ordinance that everybody can live with within the next 30 days,” said Parris, adding that he would insist all skateboarders wear helmets.

“Also, on Farmers’ Market days, don’t bring your skateboards,” Parris said. “It’s not gonna happen.”

  111 comments for “Council holds off on skateboard ban

  1. R. Martinez
    August 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    If there was a skate park in this place, maybe there wouldn’t be this problem.

  2. Concerned Resident/Artist
    July 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I was also at the council meeting last week and listened to the arguments from both sides. As a mother myself I am glad to see kids outside getting fresh air and exercise… however my question to the parents of the skateboarders is this: Do YOU really know what your children are doing when they (maybe) tell you that they are going skateboarding with Johnnie? This is what a few of them have been doing:
    a. breaking locks to get on the 5th floor of the Artist’s Lofts and skateboarding on the roof. Wouldn’t you, as a parent, just love getting that call from the Sheriff or Hospital?
    b. peering down through the skylights into the private residences of the Artists. Adults get arrested for this. Do you really want this in your child’s history?
    c. breaking into and jamming the private elevator in the Lofts building.
    d. giving or receiving and being caught at it, a sexual act in the elevator or courtyard of the Artist’s Lofts.
    e. buying or selling and using drugs within the elevator. A reminder that there are cameras recording most of the above.
    f. throwing rocks at glass doors.
    g. refusing to get out of the way when cars are trying to pull in or leave their parking spaces.
    h. having a hostile attitude when asked nicely to move or leave the area.
    These are some of the issues that prior to May 2012 we did not have here at the Artist’s Lofts. These issues started the middle of May when the Pharmacy Boardshop began to move in. This has never been a “quiet” area with the busiest Fire Station located behind us, or being located on the Blvd. where there is constant traffic. However, it never felt threatening until now. Yesterday morning my 74 year old neighbor was accosted by two skateboarders and was made to fall off his bike amongst laughter as they rode off. A young woman was dropped off on the Blvd. to do some shopping two weeks ago and was taunted and threatened (bullied) by fellow classmates so that she had to call her parents to come and pick her up immediately. Parents this is NOT the safest street in Lancaster any more for your children or even adults.

    • juan v
      July 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      well i understand this womans concern…but i must said more than the kids is the parents fault… all on the way we rise them… I have three kids and one of them (the youngest one…14 years old ) is a ” skater” very well behaved and educated….and for me to read all those comments is insulting …..they are kids…and i see them out there all the time…for cry out loud…!!! all they want is to skate and learn new tricks….!!! i think is much better than been breaking in to houses,stiling cars,selling drugs or breaking the law on any other form….. All they want is a place where to skate…..not to be treated like delincuents….!!! perhaps we should build them a skatepark…..HELLOOOOO…..!!!! So they could do so there …instead of hunting them down like criminals….the boulebard is a nice place …but if the are gonna tread my kid and others like unwanted people there…i will not expend my money there anymore….ill rather go to the palmdale mall…at least they are MUCH NICER to the kids over there , and they dont lie or makeup stories like the ones you are telling about them…..

      • Concerned Resident/Artist
        July 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        These are not “made up stories” Juan. I wish they were. We have taken photos, videos and have had to personally deal with these above issues and more.
        And I am sure the city would LOVE all the parents of skaters help in building them a park.

  3. ed
    July 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    To; Aaron, Adam,Intheknow,RbtParker,Mike,papageorgio and the rest of you that contributed rational discussion to a complex problem that that faces our communitee. And thank you Ace for staying out.

  4. Aaron Peterson
    July 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm


    • Adam Chant
      July 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

      “The best thing for the City of Palmdale to do is to get rid of ForestCity and the AV Mall. They are creating a large monopoly for themselves through backroom deals. There is a lot of other local people that can do the same thing as ForestCity has done. Even for the city to name an entire shopping center after them is pathetic.”

      See what I did there? No? let me explain.. There IS NO REDEVELOPMENT money, no grants, no rich uncle Sam and no local people with the resources to build what we have with the AV Mall or the BLVD. It requires developers like ForestCity, Westfield or InSite to leverage assets they have available to them to grow these communities. While it’s easy to point the finger at the large target all you are doing is biting the hand that feeds you. And in this economy I can assure you that there are no other hands looking at feeding middle sized communities like we have in the A.V.
      Actually we are lucky to have a developer that is available and willing to work with the community for what we want because if you search about Westfield and Pasadena you’ll quickly see just one example that even very affluent people have no say in how Westfield develops their downtown districts.

      The city got about $12M in REDEVELOPMENT funds for the BLVD.
      InSite have invested over $130M in development in the area.

      Depending on how old or how long you have lived in the AV you might remember that the City tried this once before on the BLVD. It was a total piece of crap and wasted a lot of money to produce no net gain for the community.

      Contrary to what you want to think the only reason the BLVD is any success is because of the private investments initiated by InSite and the business that has brought to the area.

      Know who your enemies are before throwing down the gantlet.

      • InTheKnow
        July 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

        They received 10M for the lofts alone, Adam. Are you telling me they received a mere 2M more for everything else? I’d like to see the actual paperwork on that estimation. It’s pretty obvious that you pay rent to Scott, or depend on him financially in some way or other. Are you sure you are unbiased enough to be involved in these discussions? Also, remember that you are setting a precedent for what is and isn’t acceptable as far as Insite & businesses on the BLVD are concerned. As a business owner, I hope you will take your responsibilty in this very seriously, as you are not solely representing your interests, but the interests of each and everyone of us who operates a store front on this street.

        • Adam Chant
          July 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

          The $130M side of the investment likely involves grant matching funds so that $10M used to build the Lofts and additional $nM? used to build the low income apartments around the BLVD, Arbor Court, etc all involved HUD/redevelopment money.
          It’s worth pointing out that the low income apartments will likely be “converted” to general tenant apartments in the future. Leading to all of this discussion again.. but that is for another debate another time.

          I don’t pay rent to Scott, InSite or Ironwood management nor is my building owned by them. My business is a LLC that is easily searchable online. It’s exclusively owned by myself and my wife with no outstanding debt to any creditors. My books are open and if anyone is serious about knowing the details I’ll readily share them in person.

          • Robert Parker
            July 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

            A HUD FOIA request will satisfy the outstanding questions here. Relying on what Adam or anyone else “thinks” the deals have been or whether the buildings can or will be converted to non income qualified housing, again, is subject to the contracts between the funding sources and the developer. For the record, there is a significant difference between “low income” housing and “income qualified” housing. In researching HUD’s affordable housing the rental application standards for the Lofts are actually quite strict.

          • Adam Chant
            July 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

            Robert Parker, I agree with you 100%. We’re all speculating until documentation is produced.

          • InTheKnow
            July 30, 2012 at 10:09 am

            Wow. Adam is agreeing with Bob Parker, I agree with Adam… We must be getting somewhere. ;) When it comes down to it, the HUD paperwork is going to be the deciding factor in this thing.

            Needless to say, the discourse has been lively and engaging. Thanks, Gents.

  5. Robert Parker
    July 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I think the taxpayers might want to chew on this, if the builder
    claimed a non profit exemption somewhere in the building/permit
    process and is now renting to a for profit tenant, he might be liable
    for a nice sum of back taxes… and penalties… that is a state law. A quick call to the Sec of State would certainly clarify the question. And if he did not formally file or claim a non-profit exemption for the gallery how was it funded and reported as a non-profit space? (for which he received the AIA award – as a non-profit gallery for the exclusive use by the tenant [artists} in residence) People can’t have it both ways ….

  6. Aaron
    July 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I think before this problem escalates any further the tenants of the Artists Loft should get together and contact the management and start complaining about the nusaince more than what they have done so far. If all else fails then they should contact a tenants rights group to assist them. I am also sure that a lot of the tenants rented there because of the gallery and wonder if they were given notice that it was going to change it to a retail shop.

    • mike
      July 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Lancaster doesn’t want to provide a skateboard park, but will give land to someone to develop one. Meantime, skateboarders say they are safe on the Blvd. Tenants and dwellers on the Blvd complain of the noise and etc from the skateboarders. Skateboarders say they need access from Sierra Hwy to 10st West. Solution: ban skateboarders on the Blvd and let them use Milling or whatever to go from Sierra Hwy to 10th West. Turn the area adjacent to Parris’ law firm on 10 St. West into a skateboard park and skateboard center. (I suggested the latter at the city council meeting.)

  7. papageorgio
    July 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I live in the Artists Lofts. I can tell you that this is not about artists, art, sport, skateboarders/skateboarding, or transportation. This is about common respect for peoples property and home. Its easy to talk and get all “footloose” (like the movie) about the city messin with kids and their expression but the fact of the matter is we have kids smoking meth and getting blowjobs in our elevator, Vandalizating our elevator, as well as the giving and receiving of hand jobs in the entrance way to our building. (I have little kids dang it!) Also, my woman called down to them one time while they were congregating under our house and in our driveway and simply asked them if they could quiet down. They said “[removed] you bitch.” Its a problem of attitude and respect. They can consider us assholes for impeding upon their so called freedoms to vandalize and occupy our what used to be peaceful place but, i guarantee you that if we behaved in a similiar manner in their personal space they would feel compelled to defend their homes as we do. This is a big desert. The city is offering to help the skaters with land possibly. I suggest the skaters take the opportunity to advance their cause as opposed to getting in a pissing match and rebelling against the city. I mean, of all the viable things to rebel against these certain kids are rebelling against a persons right to have a peaceful and nice environment in which to live. I dont find that very smart or reasonable. Its a waste of energy. And, opinions may very but please realize that this is our home and the Pharmacy customers (skateboarders) have shown much aggression towards us. Basically right in our driveways and front yard. Its just not smart.

    • papageorgio
      July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      sorry, lol. vandalizing. blah. And seriously, no disrespect for the craft and sport of skateboarding. I got a bart simpson skateboard when i was a kid and loved it. peace

    • Robert Parker
      July 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Papa – Since you live in the lofts you might know whether Adam Chant is correct in stating that the gallery there has been 90% empty for the last year. And if that is true what’s all the brouhaha over a space the artists rarely used?

      • papageorgio
        July 28, 2012 at 7:39 am

        Susan Kay Moses

        A partial list of artists and shows hosted at the Artists’ Lofts’ Gallery

        Douglas Alvaez, Jed Voltz, Miguel Cervantez, Patrick Haemmerlein, Paul O’ Sullican, Catherine Brooks Nicole Moan

        Elizabeth Caffey, RLC, Andrea Crowe, Christine Saunders, David Hubbard, Jonathan Janssen, Pavlina Nicole Janssen, and Steven Fiche

        Howard Erlich

        Gary Copeland

        Boaz Abel


        Cinema Virtuel and Susan Kay Moses presented:
        an afternoon introducing Lancaster to seasoned filmmakers, directors, agents, managers, and casting directors from Hollywood.

        PROJECT PICASSO: Children created art (paintings) hanging them in the gallery over the weekend.

        UNDER CONSTRUCTION, a group show of local artists including Marthe Aponte, Steven Fich, Caleb Macy, Elizabeth Macy, Nancy Scherich,and Laurel Jean Siler. The Show included works about the body, identity, humanity and what it is like to live lives that are constantly under construction.

        Body Art and Custom Culture Show with Uncle Jerry / Josh Smith

        Timeless Art In The Flesh curated by Andrea Young, Psycho City Tattoo, and American Made Tattoo, the show opened during the Celebrate America! on the BLVD event and easily 500 people passed through the gallery.

        Lofts Resident’s Show – October

        Luminosity Show by Stacey Spiegel



        Talking Heads designed by lofts resident Michael Davis in cooperation with Housing Corporation of America, is a 10-week sculpture program for youth and young adults, in which each participant creates a 3D bust of a person, creature or animal. In this first round of Talking Heads, Instructors Davis and Nuri Amanatullah worked with 21 participants ranging from 7 to 28 years of age.

        Art Without Arcs – artist Patrik Ryane

        Summer Sweehearts

        Wiki Nights hosted by Nick West

        Performers And Writers Society – hosted by Susan Kay Moses

        C U R I O S I T I E S
        featuring the work of
        Stacey Spiegel
        Mike Holder
        John Landberg

        Opening reception Friday October 14, from 6pm to 10pm
        Open every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in October from 6pm to 9:30pm, featuring the “GEOmix”
        Open every Thursday in October during the Farmer’s Market: 3pm to 8pm
        Open every Saturday in October from 6pm to 10pm

        Saturday October 22: film screening of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari with live soundtrack 6pm- 10pm

        Friday October 21st: live music by Sonic Cheese Band
        Friday October 28: the BOOlvd event 6pm to 10pm: trick or treaters welcome!

        Lofts Gallery in Lancaster presented Clayhouse 2011 Thursday, November 10th amongst the lights and crowds of the Lancaster farmers market.

        The Artist’s Marketplace – December 2011

        December 6th, the gallery will host some of the participants in the Hoffman hospice light up a life event

        December 8th the gallery will host MOAH’s wiki night from 6pm to 9pm
        December 10th the gallery will participate in the “magical BLVD christmas” MARKETPLACE featuring art wares from our resident artists.

        The Third Law Show featuring the works of Laurel Jean Siler and Karen E. Weston-Challman. The name of the show is taken from Newton’s laws of motion and reflects the idea that the artists have equal passion for the same ideas and issues but fairly opposite reactions to them. While friends, the artists tend to have divergent points of view.

        Piper Coolidge, one of the Lofts residents, worked as an associate producer and was the production designer for a short film, “Botes Al Amanacer,” , that made it into Cannes Court Metrage – Short Film Corner and has frequently used the gallery as a spring board for test marketing her concepts.

        • papageorgio
          July 28, 2012 at 7:47 am

          Sorry, Susan’s name should’ve been listed in the artist section.

          @Robert Parker:
          As you can see, we utilized the gallery every chance we were given. One of the biggest problems was that we were never given control of the gallery. The property management company (Ironwood) kept control of both scheduling and access. We had wanted to put up a year round group show that the residents curated themselves, but that option was never made truly available to us, as was implied as an enticement to move here. They submarined us.

        • Adam Chant
          July 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

          OK, So my suggestion that it was empty 90% of the time was melodramatic.. hmmm.. how ironic..
          But thank you for exposing the real (and valid) agenda.

          The problem is that we have 2 issues here that are equally as important and need to be addressed.

          1. Skateboarding on the BLVD
          2. Usage of the Gallery at the Lofts

          The way I see it is that the usage of the Gallery is a tenant/landlord issue and does not directly involve the city. This is an open market and the city has very limited control over what type of businesses are located on the BLVD. If the residents of the lofts have a problem with the usage of the Gallery then they need to take it up with the landlord – NOT the City.

          Skateboarding will be addressed with a number of solutions. Who knows what those will be, but it will be discussed in the near future.

          As for the skateboarding on and around the lofts the current ordinance provides the ability to post signage that prevents skateboarding. I suggest that the Artist’s take some action and either do it themselves or have Ironwood do it. Also if the elevator is a problem then lock it and require a key, swipe card or phone buzz to use it.

          • Adam Chant
            July 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm

            I’m still looking over the ordinances and may be incorrect about having a current ordinance that specifically includes skateboarders, but the Loitering ordinance could and should be posted.

          • taxpayinglancasterresident
            July 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

            I attended the City Council meeting, and one of the people from the lofts pointed out that the reason the gallery issue needs to be addressed by the City is because that building was funded by our tax dollars, city tax credits, and Federal monies provided by HUD. This is a publicly funded venture, so as a taxpaying citizen, I want to know why it isn’t being used as it was intended. I don’t pay taxes so that private developers can put in a commercial business and get richer. We were supposed to have a nice downtown with a museum, some galleries and what not. The tax money they used was never intended to subsidize a skateboard shop. I can understand why tose people are upset about it. My wife and I are, too.

          • Robert Parker
            July 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

            Adam – You are not correct in your thinking. Of the two issues the Skaters problem is the City’s to resolve, the artists are simply a part of the problem the skaters have created.

            The Lofts’ Gallery is absolutely a City issue. It is/was tax payer subsidized and therefore, subject to promises made in the funding request. And since the same developer has multiple and complex deals for land, property, tax credits and other services and in kind considerations being granted by Rex and Scott’s best friend, Vice Mayor Ron Smith, the tax payers are well within their rights (artists included) to demand that their interest (investments) are being protected by the City.

            PS. I make the Ron Smith reference because, he has been interviewed many times claiming his creative contributions to Scott’s developments as Scott’s best friend. It may be that the “close” ties and relationships have protected the prestidigitation far too long. We expect to see slight of hand, smoke and mirrors and things disappearing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, not with respect to our tax money.

            But thank you for being consistently closed minded and myopic.

          • taxpayinglancasterresident
            July 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

            Not sure why this fella (Chant)is representing the business interests of the Blvd. Isn’t his store pretty much out of the area where the commotion has been going on? Why isn’t the City consulting someone who is experiencing this firsthand, like the lady who runs Lemon Leaf? It doesn’t make sense. And Chant, you seem predisposed to having some sort of grudge against the residents of the lofts. Makes me wonder if he was chosen for some sort of ulterior motive. I don’t like it one bit.

          • Robert Parker
            July 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

            You pose a very interesting question, why was Chant appointed to represent the businesses? I watched the Mayor’s request for a meeting and it appeared that he wanted (1) Scott (2) Pharmacy (3) The City (4) The artists represented to discuss the gallery. What do other privately owned businesses have to do with this issue? It does seem a little bit like a set up for an ambush.

          • Adam Chant
            July 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

            I’m bumping this back out to a larger discussion thread.. see my reply elsewhere in this story..

          • Concerned Resident/Artist
            July 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

            Dear Adam,
            The city really does have control over what type of businesses are located on the BLVD. No matter what you or they say. Many years ago a Pussycat theater was located on the BLVD. It isn’t any longer. Wasn’t the right image desired. Arrow Appliance which has been on the BLVD since I was just a child was asked to relocate because it wasn’t the right image? Our gallery is a city concern. After all, they made the BLVD for many reasons and one major reason I’m told over and over again is for the arts.
            We were given our 45 days notice – however I was the artist to be using the gallery next and my notice was only a two week notice! I had lined up many of my local artist friends in the AV, PLUS several of the residents of the Lofts to be in my show. Some were professional artists while others were first timers. By the time I found out I would not be able to have my show we had been preparing for months!
            The management of the gallery has been my biggest complaint since I moved in a year ago, because it wasn’t managed well and we artists were not allowed to even try. In fact artists that didn’t even live here were given precedence over us and yet their shows lasted one day or one week and weren’t readily open to the public -(what about the other 24-30 days?). Why couldn’t we fill those days? It took me a year to finally get a month and then two weeks before my show was to open it was closed.
            I have lived in this valley for over 50 years. I know a lot of people. I have worked in many fields. I have run my own sucessful small business. I now work as a budget keeper for one of our local middle schools which is only a part time job thanks to the state of California. My art has appeared for many years in our local Fair and won awards. When I decided to move, it was because I wanted to take the next step and try and make more money from my art to support my very limited income. I was promised this opportunity when I moved in. And then my hands were tied as were everyone else’s in this small community.
            So I want you to know Adam, that we HAVE been trying to take up our issues with management. We’ve asked for them to finish putting in the security they started (ie. securing the building, hooking up the call box located in the front so that it actually works, etc.) until recently (council meeting) we were given lip service. Within a few days after the council meeting a welder finally showed up to secure the roof access. Because they’d finally gotten that 101 complaint call from the residents that kids were on our roof looking down through our skylights or skateboarding up there? Or because we finally had enough and decided to bring our plight in front of the city council? And by the way, the elevator is behind locked doors HOWEVER because management or Insite wouldn’t finish what they started it can still be gotten to by whoever wants to make the effort.

          • Adam Chant
            July 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

            “Arrow Appliance which has been on the BLVD since I was just a child was asked to relocate because it wasn’t the right image?”

            Once and for all LISTEN to this FACT. No matter what each involved party says this is the factual details.
            The City of Lancaster can only deny business licenses for pawn shops, bail bonds and adult merchandise within the area defined as the BLVD. Beyond that they have no control over what type or how many of a business is in the area.

            SPECIFICALLY – Arrow Appliance was paying below market rent at the location they were at. They were on a month to month program and either refused or denied the opportunity to sign a long term lease.
            The building was purchased by InSite about 9 months ago. InSite asked for going market rent at the location and Arrow refused to pay that. Simple as that! Arrow could have moved to a number of spots that are STILL empty on the BLVD and no one not even Scott could have done anything about it. Instead they went to the paper and made all kinds of drama that when all is said and done boils down to their refusal to pay the asking rate for rent.

    • Adam Chant
      July 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

      What I will be wrong about, if the evidence is ever presented in more than just speculation and hearsay, is whether the building owner is required to maintain a specific purpose for the Gallery. Anyone with an FHA loan on a home is taxpayer subsidized HUD support. Does that mean that all taxpayers have a say in how that home is maintained? Not really.

      Now I’m being argumentative, but I just don’t know if the matter of how the building was funded is a relevant matter after it is built. Also I would suspect that while we would like to think that there would be an extended time frame defined that the Gallery has to be maintained as a non-profit Gallery, knowing the business practices of InSite I suspect that it was agreed to no more than 12 months. If that’s the case then it’s been 12 months and now they are leasing to for-profit businesses now.

      Don’t read into my arguments as direct reflection of my agenda or opinion on the matter because I can argue every side of the discussion with equal conviction.

      Robert Parker, while my argument may be in your opinion ‘consistently closed minded and myopic.’ my agenda is true and honest.
      Like everyone else I want to know what is going on, but before I pull out the pitch fork and go to town I need to know that the fight is legitimate. Like I mentioned, there may have been taxpayers subsidies used to fund these buildings, but until I see that the usage of those funds are subject to every individual’s approval then I don’t feel it is necessary to waste time discussing it with the city, UNTIL all other means of resolution have been exhausted.
      My feeling is (knowing how they are known to do things) that there was a short term requirement for this gallery and after that it is free to be used as the building owner sees fit. That being the case the Artists are legally out of luck on getting the Gallery back.
      However with all of the producers, script writers and artists there has got to be enough combined gray matter in the lofts to write a good business plan for a non-profit artistic business that can replace Pharmacy and pay Ironwood equal rent. If they need any help on this I will offer multiple ideas for businesses that could cover the rent.

      Maybe Pharmacy can relocate to another InSite owned property and leave the Gallery to be what it was intended to be. Personally I would like to see Pharmacy go in to the spot where Arrow was and let the shadow of the sheriff department help police their activity.

      • InTheKnow
        July 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

        So Adam,it was a classic bait & switch then? Because if Insite knew there was only going to be a gallery onsite for a limited number of months, they sure didn’t advertise that fact when enticing artists to move here. They also didn’t mention that they were going to turn the federally funded public housing projects’ garage into a commercial space such as exists @ the lofts either I’ll bet. I like your idea of relocating the Pharmacy Boardshop elsewhere on the Blvd., however the gallery was designated as a non-profit space, which you can see in the following excerpt from HUD’s own website, quoting Scott’s own words. Look, I don’t think Erlich is the devil, but I think he would serve the community best by sticking to his promises and honoring the vision that he lured the artiste here with in the first place.​rbc/newsletter/vol9iss4_1.html

        Arbor Lofts
        Like many cities in the United States, downtown Lancaster, California had long been neglected. To revitalize the area, in 2001 the City Council and Agency Board passed the North Downtown Transit Village Project. Since then, tax credits, mortgage revenue, HOME funds, Section 108 loan guarantees, HUD Community Development Block Grants, and a Sustainable Communities Grant from the state of California have all contributed to restoring the heart of downtown, says Elizabeth Brubaker, Lancaster Director of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. Arbor Lofts, an infill development that opened in December 2009, was the catalyst for the city’s Downtown Specific Plan, an initiative approved in September 2008 that calls for both housing and commercial urban infill development.
        Scott Ehrlich of Insite Development, the developer who conceived Arbor Lofts, points out that because rents are cheap, artists are often the first to initiate urban infill in a blighted neighborhood. Over time, restaurants, other cultural activity, and new residents follow suit with their own infill development. But as a neighborhood gentrifies and rents rise, artists — whom he calls “emerging pioneers” — are often forced out.

        Arbor Lofts will make it possible for artists to remain in downtown Lancaster, according to Ehrlich, as the neighborhood develops around them. At the same time, their very presence will help to spur a downtown revival. It’s this very process — incorporating housing with other community amenities as a means of achieving revitalization — that earned Arbor Lofts its award for creating community connection.
        To design the units, PSL Architects’ project principal Mark Lahmon consulted artists about what amenities they would find useful in a live/work space. Those discussions resulted in 21 two-story, four-bedroom apartments whose features include concrete floors, exhaust vents to expel chemicals, and 220-volt outlets to accommodate a kiln or welding equipment. At the same time, Arbor Lofts’ energy-efficient design incorporates sustainable elements that diminish the use of fossil fuels and reduce water usage. As a result, the lofts exceed California’s Title 24 Energy Code by some 20 percent, and its lighting system exceeds those requirements by 24 percent.
        Also included in the design is a storefront community space used as a gallery. That benefits the artists by giving them a free opportunity to promote their work, and provides Lancaster residents reasons to visit downtown. The gallery space has also served as the backdrop to farmers markets, a street fair, and other community uses. In that way, Arbor Lofts has proved vital to creating a downtown defined by mixed-use, mixed-income development.
        To promote Arbor Lofts, the city waived impact fees and assisted with land use entitlements–the process by which a city grants rights to a developer rights for new or expanded land uses. InSite waived its developer fee, and the project also received 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits. To qualify for an apartment, would-be residents must earn at least 50 percent of their income by making art and, given Arbor Lofts’ commitment to affordable housing, must have incomes at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income.
        These projects demonstrate sustainable design elements that build community and cater to the needs and limitations of families in search of affordable housing. Building affordable, mixed-use spaces for artists is an innovative and forward thing strategy to revitalize downtown and jumpstart a sustainable, mixed-income and multi-use urban neighborhood.

        *Make no mistake, Adam. Artists are leaving because without the gallery, the lofts are really just big expensive apartments with little to no security.

        Here is an example of what other Southern California communities are doing with their Federally funded low-income artist housing.

        you may have to cut & paste.

        • William
          July 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

          Wow! Then President Obama was right about “You didn’t build that” regarding the the assistance and support the government provides for businesses. A lot of government assistance went into the BLVD project but the conservatives are lying and dishonest about the issue while they eagerly take the funds.

          • Abe
            July 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

            Obama’s a joke. “You didn’t build that”. What an uplifting statement for small business owners who did it themselves!! Hopefully he gets only one vote this year; William’s.

          • William
            July 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

            What did the word ‘that’ refer to?

            Hint: check the previous sentences from President Obama. It’s a lesson in the English language and grammar but the right are idiots.

          • Abe
            July 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

            It refers to the subject of the sentence that the word “that” was contained; a business. And if it refers to a road that was built so that people could drive to the business, that road was also built by a business. Business is the reason that this country did so well up until now. Now it’s being regulated and taxed out of existence by idiot liberals. A wise man said this William: “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives”.

          • William
            July 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

            OK, Abe. Here is the paragraph that was in President Obama’s speech.

            “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”

            Read the 3 sentences before the one with ‘that’ in it and it clearly refers to teachers, the American system, roads and bridges and more, such as the internet later given as an example. That (here’s that word again) one sentence was surrounded by the context before and after to make it clear what ‘that’ was referring to.

            Now, I’m saying that you don’t have a good grasp of the English language.

            First. The word ‘business’ is not the subject of the sentence. The word ‘you’ is the subject of the sentence “You didn’t build that” and ‘that’ refers to the previous sentences.

            Second. The word ‘that’ can be one particular thing or a reference to a group of things which is how the President used it to describe the overall systems and structures in place before anyone even thinks of starting a business.

            Third. If you think that the President was saying that a businessman didn’t build his own business, you are an uneducated idiot who doesn’t understand what he reads or hears.

            But, you’re not alone. With the help of Fox News which is perpetuating a false interpretation of the President’s words, millions of other uneducated and simple-minded Americans now think the same thing.

            I bet if you took this grammar lesson to a group of 7th graders and substituted other names and things to take the politics out of it, (‘it’ refers to the ‘lesson’ just so you understand as I go along) they would cleary understand the meaning of the entire paragraph, but not you. You’re in good company. The Sunday AV Press had a ‘Have Your Say’ feature and nearly all the comments made the same ‘mistake’. By ‘mistake’, it’s not really a mistake but an intentional distortion. Many said the President Obama was ‘out of touch’ or ‘clueless’ as though they were all speaking from the same mouth or other bodily orifice.

            You also said that a business built the roads. True. But, the business that built the roads and other things wasn’t necessariy the same business that is now using them. And, If you mean that the business paid taxes for the roads, so did many others not affiliated with the business which further supports the President’s assertion that we are all in this together. The businesses on the BLVD didn’t build the improvments to the street by themselves.

            Now, I request an apology after correcting your ‘mistake’.

            BTW. I don’t have a business but I did have a great 7th grade English teacher back in the early 60s, Miss Van Orman. She was fresh out of college and we went over grammar and diagrammed sentences and all that typically arduous stuff but we enjoyed her classes. I guess if people don’t have a good grasp of English grammar, which is complex, no wonder they don’t know which way is up.

            With the help of Frank Luntz, the GOP has worked hard to redefine many words to suit themselves, so it’s no surprise they would eff up this simple sentence. They don’t know what is what any longer. Have you noticed how crazy the GOP has been for many years? They vote ‘NO’ on bills they had authored or previously supported just because President Obama supported them. That’s crazy. The word ‘that’ refers to the the previous sentence and its meaning and not something else.

            Fortunately, even with a bad economy, Mitt Romney is bumbling and stumbling and is probably the worst presidential candidate in my lifetime. He may not get the nomination if he keeps shooting himself in both feet like he’s done for months.

          • Abe
            July 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm

            Too much to read….Go Romney! PS- FOX News has the hottest anchor women.

          • William
            July 30, 2012 at 12:06 am

            Poor you can’t read a reply. No wonder you got the President’s speech all cockeyed, but you ‘didn’t do it by yourself’. You watched Fox News and there ya go, stupider than dirt.

          • InTheKnow
            July 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

            lol, awesome.

          • Adam Chant
            July 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

            This is the kind of polarizing stuff that draws me out to fight on any side of an issue. I wouldn’t vote for Obama for anything, but I can see that the second “You didn’t build that” came out that it was being used out of context.

      • InTheKnow
        July 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        What is your reasoning behind your statement that any business that the artists ran would be a non-profit? I honestly want to know. Pharmacy is definately turning a profit, and I doubt if Erlich’s kids qualify for free lunches. The gallery was an ammenity to the residents, Adam. Technically they are already paying rent on the gallery, much in the same way that they pay rent on their laundry room, mailboxes, and parking spaces. As such, you can argue that Insite can renegotiate the terms of your or anyone else’s lease, if you rent from them, and compell you to turn your bathroom into a Jamba Juice if they see fit.

        • Adam Chant
          July 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm

          It’s been stated here that the Gallery “received the AIA award – as a non-profit gallery for the exclusive use by the tenant..”
          I think it’s even been said before in press that the Gallery at the Artist’s Lofts was a non-profit exhibit facility.

          • InTheKnow
            July 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

            Adam said:

            “It’s been stated here that the Gallery “received the AIA award – as a non-profit gallery for the exclusive use by the tenant..”
            I think it’s even been said before in press that the Gallery at the Artist’s Lofts was a non-profit exhibit facility.”

            *So why is there a skateboard shop occupying the non-profit exhibit facility?

            Things can’t be one way when Insite gets the 10M, and another way just because Insite is feeling like switching things up, can they?

            Ok, so have you essentially gotten the point then? Non-profit does not just mean the tenants, Adam, it means Insite as well. Just wanted to see if you are truly interested in being informed. So, how is a non-profit gallery supposed to pay equal rent to what Pharmacy pays now? I would like to know. Especially because the artists are already paying rent on the gallery as an ammenity (again much like their laundry room, mailboxes & parking places), per their 20+ leases. Do their individual monthly rents get pro-rated? I am curious to hear your thoughts.

      • Robert Parker
        July 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

        Adam – As you pointed out in another posting, the City is not able to arbitrarily reallocate funds dedicated specifically for the roundabout to a skate park because the narrow usage of those funds were/are tied to the application for their award to the city. Comparing an FHA or HUD home loan to the gallery grab does, actually correlate.
        Both agencies have narrow parameters defining the use of monies granted or loaned through their programs. If a homeowner received the funds, built a home and then converted the property into a hospital, FHA and HUD would examine the contracts to determine whether the homeowner had violated his/her agreement. In Erlich’s case, as it appears at this time, he lured artists to Lancaster under the guise of work/living spaces and a gallery [details already presented by others here] He developed the property based on those same promises to the City and his funding partners, he received a prestigious award from the AIA specifically because he delivered 21 units for artists and a gallery.

        Why you have a dog in this hunt is still very unclear. To be fair to the artists who are already outnumbered by the City, Pharmacy and Erlich at this supposed meeting to discuss the gallery, you need to remove yourself as a partisan party with no, apparent, connection to the outcome.

        As the Mayor emphatically stated, he does not want to lose the artists who have been and must remain central to the hundreds of millions of investment dollars into the downtown. With every posting you are sending a message to the artists counter to the Mayor’s vision. You have demeaned the artists and their position, you have falsely stated that they wasted the opportunity of the gallery, you have relegated them to legal action between landlord and tenant and by so doing, diminishing the importance of their position at the table. According to you, the artists should not even have a voice about their gallery in an open forum – who made you God? Do the right thing, man, and remove yourself from the process. You are biased and obviously do not like the artists and are predisposed to the Pharmacy and Scott since you seem to have inside track on the “way they are known to do things” – if you have evidence that Scott was not obligated to keep the gallery beyond one year or some defined timeline, then you certainly have information which had been carefully withheld by Scott from all invested and directly interested parties. If you attend the meeting, I certainly hope that you are asked to present facts to support your bold statements on this forum. If you can not, and you have used this forum to taint the readers and the community against the artists, then shame on you.

        • Adam Chant
          July 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

          As I understand it there will be multiple meetings; one to deal with the Skateboarding Ordinance and one to address the issues between the Artist’s and Gallery.
          I asked to be involved in helping outline the details of the ordinance. I’m sorry if I confused the matter with long winded debate.

          • Robert Parker
            July 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm

            Simple solution.

            (1) Nullify Pharmacy’s lease based on fraud in the inducement
            (2) InSite pays to relocate Pharmacy on or near the property the city is giving it for the skate park
            (3) Skaters will follow the store
            (4) No ordinance required
            (5) Gallery reinstated, as per HUD, back to Lofts artists
            Nobody sues anybody –

          • InTheKnow
            July 30, 2012 at 7:41 am

            Mr. Parker,
            That is the simplest solution I have seen yet. It is literally WIN-WIN-WIN. Everyone comes out on top.

    • Adam Chant
      July 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

      “why was Chant appointed to represent the businesses?” Because I asked to be included in the group of individuals discussing the matter for a number of reasons:
      1. There is this organization or BID (Business Improvement District) in the downtown called the BLVD Association. It used to be the Lancaster Old Town Site (LOTS) and has been around for over 20 years to help ‘in the renovation of business facades and attraction of new businesses, including boutiques and restaurants in the Old Town Area.’ -LOTS Wikipedia. Today the BLVD Association seeks to promote and maintain the economic growth and cultural diversity of the Lancaster community. Through our commitment to serve the needs of our community and businesses, we provide services and knowledge that helps both enhance quality of our businesses and our residents. – Mission Statement, BLVD Association.
      2. As a business owner I’m a member of the BLVD Association and go above and beyond the minimum necessary to be involved in all maters pertaining to the BLVD. I don’t care if it’s Georges Cleaners or Vintage Styles Now, If I own a business on the BLVD I’m going to do my part and more to make sure that every business has the best opportunity to be successful. I’m a block caption in the BLVD Association and represent a large group of businesses that are affected by the skateboarders every day.
      3. I live in Quartz Hill and now Rex is talking like he wants to steal the Skate Park we are looking at getting so Lancaster can provide land for a private company to manage. There has been a lot of effort put into getting this park going for more than a year. Now because someone (who has probably been fired by now) comes to a City of Lancaster meeting saying he represents the County of LA Parks and Recreation, plants the seed in Rex’s head and Quartz Hill may lose out on the skate park. Thing is.. I think this is a better idea to be honest.. Put it in Lancaster where the kids are, the only reason it was going in QH was because Lancaster wouldn’t do it.
      At the council meeting during the break I literally asked him if we could trade the skate park for WalMart in Quartz Hill.. Good Times..
      4. The BLVD needs more Retail. Pharmacy may not be in the best spot right now, but they don’t need to leave the BLVD, just probably move to a more appreciated location. East side across from LASD next to MGS in the old Arrow appliance spot.
      5. I’m a doer and not a critic. I’m tired of people complaining all over the place and nothing ever getting done about it. This has really been an issue with the BLVD Association for over a year now and really became a problem with the summer months and Pharmacy moving to the BLVD. Something has to be done and the City BLVD Businesses and LASD need to make a serious effort to solve this growing problem before someone gets killed. YES it is that BAD!
      Last night 30 teens fought up and down the BLVD from 7 until at least 9 when we finally went home. Yes some had skateboards, bikes and scooters, but watching it from our store with one of the employees of Pharmacy It was VERY easy to see these were not customers of Pharmacy. These were nothing more than unsupervised low life scum that have suddenly infiltrated our community and are contributing to the issues we are seeing in the news every day. They are loud, disrespectful, uneducated, thieving brats that need to have their parents put in jail for letting these minors act the way they do.

      • William
        July 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        The BLVD ‘project’ was built in an area surrounded by old neighborhoods, auto body shops around the corner, a sheriff’s station, a few restaurants and old businesses with nothing really significant to anchor it nor is there easy access from out of the area. I’m assuming that the rent was lower than anywhere else a few years ago.

        There are no old hotels or department stores and such that are typical of other citys that have renovated their downtowns. The money would have been better spent improving another street in Lancaster. Another street with better parking.

        So, the city leaders have to force it to work and they always seem behind the curve in anticipating problems or issues despite how they talk about their grand visions.

        The BLVD project, once and for all, proves there is no ‘intelligent design’. It’s like they have both feet in quicksand. They pull one out while the other foot sinks deeper.

        It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ll bet that the restauransts are mostly empty right now and there aren’t thousands of people on the BLVD strolling about as it’s a fairly nice day.

        • Concerned Resident/Artist
          July 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

          Hi William, only a few months ago there were people out on the BLVD strolling about – even tho it was winter – I was one of them. However, since the Pharmacy Boardshop, their customers and friends have moved in I can barely get out of my building on certain days and times. While I had nothing against skateboarders prior to them moving in I must admit I do now. I have been almost hit, have been accosted by and have had to put up with the constant noise and disrespect of this group. By jamming our elevator 3x in a two week period I was unable to go shopping or do my laundry because of a war injury that keeps me from safely going up and down the stairs.
          I’m hoping William that we get our BLVD back and that it continues to grow in the way that benefits all and not just the few.

          • William
            July 30, 2012 at 12:25 am

            I had to go to Lancaster today and went by the BLVD at around 4:30 PM on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. BeX’s bar was empty and the restaurant was about a third full, if that. The deli and the Lemon Leaf were closed and the other restaurants, beer and wine places were nearly empty too. I stopped at Primo Burger on 10th West ot get a soda and it was busier than the places on the BLVD.

            I saw a couple of skateboarders but I bet there were more patients in the AV Medical Centers ICU than on the sidewalks of the entire BLVD at one time.

            Whenever I write anything similar, someone will say “You gotta go there at 10 PM on Saturday night or like you said about one of your visits.

            I bet nearly every medium-sized shopping center in the entire Antelope Valley had more activity at 4:30-5:00 PM today than the BLVD. People are always making excuses for it while there is lots of activity elsewhere most of the day. It appears the the activity on the BLVD or lack of it isn’t time or weather dependent when people are out and about elsewhere.

            I guess Rex will eventually have to have a car race every other day to make it work or a parade or whatever.

            Concerned, it was actually a little depressing to see how few people were there. On the way home, I drove the perimeter road at the AV Mall to go to Sears. You could feel the energy and see the full parking lots at all the restaurants. A new Japanese buffet is opening in the old Ginza place. So, despite the economy, businesses are still willing to invest in a large, expensive restaurant.

            There is something wrong with the thinking behind the BLVD project. I guess it could work if new minds took it over.

    • Erik Rex Lancaster
      July 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

      I feel for you guys, man. I noticed some months back you guys had an art exhibit at the lofts dedicated to the local history and the art of skateboarding in the Antelope Valley….and this is the thanks you get. I would be upset too. The lofts need private security to patrol them…just for the safety of the residents. If random people are smoking meth and getting blown in the elevator then anything can happen.

  8. me
    July 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Maybe we should ban strollers on the Blvd….they hurt when ran over your toes! and they also have wheels. Let the kids skake, but not on Thursdays.

  9. Plz Leave the AV
    July 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I would much rather dodge a kid on a skate board then bump shoulders with a group of Hood Rats wearing PJ’s and slippers at the mall, which is always the case. I say excuse me, they say “Oh my goooodness, no you didn’t just hit my shurder”

    • Mc
      July 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

      I agree with u. Skatboards are also a method of transportation to others, is better seing the kids all together having fun riding a skatebord than stealing or selling drugs around the corner. so, to me is a cruel idea to ban skateboards

  10. andrew mazariego
    July 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

    im not gonna be voting for him for his next term

  11. Erik
    July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Here’s an idea… Look at all the parks in Lancaster… Most have unused baseball diamonds or other unused areas.. Turn some of those areas into skateparks! Give these kids some options for a change rather than just tell them they CAN’T skate somewhere tell them where they CAN. Be enablers not disablers!!

  12. Fassett
    July 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I’m always torn between saluting these children and their right to annoy the crap out of their elders at warp speed, and wanting to trip them as they come centimeters from colliding into me and send them flying to their doom.

    No, skateboarding is not a crime. Neither is courtesy.

    Exercise a little of both.

  13. ThoseDamnKids
    July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Why not build a skate park? As other have said, having kids skating is better than other activities they might find as an outlet for their energy. Yeah, there is a skate park at Marie Kerr, but that’s in Palmdale on the west side… Not exactly accessible to kids who rely on their tiny wheels for transportation. AFTER the skaters have the option, then issue fines to those who are skating outside of designated areas.

    • William
      July 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Good idea. Young kids are like cats in that they don’t recognize bounderies, fences, private property, a new, unscratched sofa, but I digress.

      So, it’s up to the adults to create structures and rules for them to learn. A skate-park is a good start, analogous to having a scratching post in the same room as a new sofa.

      I remember, as a kid of 9-10, how we all rode our bikes through peoples’ yards in the neighborhood, up there walkways, etc. Not doing anything harmful but also not realizing that it was another’s property.

      I don’t think the kids are riding their boards to annoy or hurt people but the BLVD is an attractive nuisance for them like an unfenced swimming pool.

  14. Aaron Peterson
    July 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

    We will just have to see how long Pharmacy will last on the BLVD since they were just recently evicted from the Lancaster Marketplace. Brittany’s sure did not last long only opened for a few months now there is a Notice of Eviction posted in the windows

    • William
      July 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Sorry to hear about Brittany’s. I went there around 4-5 PM on a weekday and was the only customer the whole time. The food and service was good and the place was nice inside.

      I have gone to BeX a few times since it opened and probably won’t go back. The food was good but the place is like a cave in the daytime, unpleasantly so. I don’t want to stay any longer than it took to eat.

  15. hm
    July 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

    if the skakeboarders were more considerate of people walking on a sidewalk, such as in a shopping center where they have signs posted “no skateboards”, maybe they would maybe people would feel more like helping them out with a skate park. but, where signs are clearly posted and people are clearly walking, these rude little demons just terrorize the walkways.. can they not read? or maybe it’s just that they don’t care what the signs say.. they probably aren’t taught to be respectable anyway. they ride thru parking lots, barely looking and I’ve seen a few wipe out in parking lots on the hard asphalt..the city says it might donate land for a skate park, why don’t the parents get together and help fund a park, instead of encouraging your kid to do the wrong thing..
    maybe they should move the skateboard shop on the blvd…it’s kind of hard to believe it fits the “VISION” anyway.

    • S. Parker
      July 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

      There is perfectly good skate park in Palmdale on Rancho Vista and 30th. Why can’t Pharmacy Boardshop relocate in the strip mall across the street over there? If they do, that would lure all the little skateboarders off The Blvd.
      They can take the bus to the park. I believe there is a bus stop right in front of the park. Problem solved.

      • Matt K.
        July 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

        The question I have is why wasn’t a skate park put in somewhere at somewhere at American Heroes park?

        Though I don’t skateboard myself, I like the Pharmacy shop there because it adds a retail element that is missing, which is key to making The Blvd. a retail/dining district that caters to all demographics.

        • fed up!
          July 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

          A friend of mine who owned a small unknown skate shop in Quartz Hill went to the city council a few years back to propose a skate park in Lancaster and was shot down about the idea! Insurance was the issue…. Who ever leased to Pharmacy Board shop should have known better, like bees to honey! I myself am an ex-skater but in my day they called it sidewalk surfing.. I have nothing against them skating they just need a place to do it. There is a difference between park skaters and street skaters. These are street skaters (rebels)and you set rules for them to follow your not going to get positive results!

        • hm
          July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

          the skateboard shop caters to “all demographics”???? really?

          • Chris French
            July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

            Matt K. didn’t say Pharmacy catered to all demographics! He was referring to the goal of having the DISTRICT cater to all demographics.

    • Chris French
      July 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      WOW! I can’t recall the last time I read so much misinformation, conjecture, assumption, ignorance and guilt by association. A skateboard is a piece of athletic equipment. A skateboard is a mode of trasportation. How many times have you seen a bicycle rider do something in traffic that you wouldn’t do in your car? Where is the outrage? We were all taught from a young age that bicycles have the same laws and restrictions as a motor vehicle operator. Why should somebody have to take a bus somewhere to enjoy their skateboard? Has anyone seen the XGAMES? It is now a billion dollar industry and you want to bus it away. What happened to education. You don’t like something son’t understand something BUS IT AWAY! What does a company’s eviction have to do with anything? What are the details of the eviction, as if that’s any of our business or yours. To the “ex-skater” wannabe you called entire demographic rebels. If you are not in a skatepark you’re on the street plain and simple. If you’re not in a skatepark your a rebel, gimme a break. Bee’s to honey? You’re faulting a business for attracting customers. It comes back to education. We all know that we can find fault in everything if that’s all we are looking for. To those commentors here who invite dialog and compromise you should be commended. To those who say BE GONE I say the same. The person “diving for my life” getting out of a car, you are aware that it is illegal to open your door until it is safe to do so? What do you do when a car goes by, soil yourself? The person who thinks that skateboarders were not raised properly, who are you to say whats proper. “That skater was in a parking lot and fell on that hard pavement. WOW! That same skater is going to fall in a skatepark made of the same thing. It is the inherent danger of the sport. I’ve broken my share of bones all attributed to the inherent danger of my activities. Pedestrian friendly can only be attained where there are ONLY pedestrians. The current record size for a skateboard park is around 54,000 square feet. I and swear as you all witness that should I be lucky enough to win the lottery I am going to build a 75,000 square foot skate aprk, there will be buses to pick up the kids, BBQ’s on the holidays and during the summer. Indoor and outdoor so that weather is not an issue. You wanna get in my park free, get on the bus and lets go pick up some trash. I just can’t believe that so many people are missing an opportunity to make a difference in young peoples lives, and all you want to do is criminalize and bus away the “rebels” Sad Sad Sad. In closing I ask one simple thing for you to think about. What is the one hobby, activity or pasttime that truly brings you joy? Now imagine if nobody else thought so and told you to get out of town and enjoy it else where? I feel safer hearing the clickity clack of a skateboard coming behind me on the sidewalk than I do when a strange car approaches and I hear clicking of a gun. If you’re going to criminalize sport and transportation then it’s just a matter of time before it’s YOUR sport or transpo that gets exported.

      • William
        July 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        Wow! That was some rant.

      • really
        July 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        I agree, these kids live in a valley that has little for them to do. The city should find a way to accomodate the kids. Build a skatepark near the blvd and staff it with park employees… If I had the money I’d build a skatepark with a hamburger/hotdog stand near by. These are kids enjoying their youth, give them a productive outlet…. Contact Rob Dyrdek he is a pro sketer and partnered with cities and business’ to build safe spot skate spots…. once you build an outlet than you can reasonably say dont skate on the blvd…

  16. AV Town Crier
    July 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Why not take some of that money that was allocated to the roundabout and use it toward a skateboard park. Heroes park might be a good location.

    • Adam Chant
      July 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Transportation funds can not be used for Park development. And even within transportation funds there are specifics for what it can and can not be used for.
      I love how everyone want’s to call out Rex and crew for back room deals and dishonest money practices in everything from the city budget to redevelopment funds, but in the same train of thought make suggestions that would be misappropriation.

      While a really good idea the bucket labeled transportation can not be used for Parks development.

  17. Adam Chant
    July 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I have to commend the city council in this case. They were more than considerate of the skateboarders expressing their views and even asked for additional comments after all speaker cards were taken. I think it’s a little unfair to have the roller skaters included in this ordinance, but I can understand it as others cities have just as much problem with extreme skaters as skateboarders.
    So for liability and cost the city will never build a skate park, but they are willing to donate land for a private company to do so. This sounds like a perfect opportunity for Pharmacy to open up the first skate park in Lancaster with a little help from the city, county and private investors. Maybe InSite Developments would be willing to get involved in the process.

    • Robert Parker
      July 27, 2012 at 12:16 am

      No question that the back room deal between Rx and Scott was done and done well before the fake “idea light” went off at the Council meeting. The City is expert at giving Scott land …. Clearly the Pharmacy is going to relocate – one conversation with the property managers at the Lancaster Market Place or a simple scan of the numerous police reports directly related to the skaters would have been enough for any reasonable person to predict the mess moving the Pharmacy to the BLVD would create. The Market Place was forced to hire a full time security guard solely because of the behavior of the skaters. Pharmacy left the Marketplace and so did the problems.

      • Adam Chant
        July 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

        There are multiple businesses in the Lancaster Marketplace that have contributed to police reports and suggesting that Pharmacy was the only reason for security is inaccurate. Additionally nuisance calls for loitering and obstructing traffic flow are minor compared to gang fights, stabbing and possible shooting. (All of which are attributed to the night club)

      • Aaron
        July 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

        Pharmacy did not just leave the Marketplace they where evicted. So it is not common practice that a landlord rents to someone that has been evicted. A rental contract usually has a clause for nuisance so if the problem keeps up then the other merchants should put pressure or even legal action against the current landlord to cure the problem.

  18. mike
    July 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    It is only a matter of time before a skateboarder or pedestrian gets seriously injured on the BLVD and the city will be sued. Skateboarders should use nearby HEROES PARK to skateboard not Lancaster BLVD. One of their complaints is that the BLVD is safe. Well, it ain’t safe when you guys are harassing people and causing safety problems. As I mentioned, I favor a venue for you to skate such as a skateboard park. The buildings and space next to the Mayor’s law firm would be perfect. (No kidding) By the way, I was a skateboarder many moons ago.

    • Adam Chant
      July 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I have to say that all and all it was a very good meeting for everyone. The Mayor was in good spirits, he let everyone get a few good ones in and let everyone speak who wanted to even if they didn’t get a speaker card in.
      Being he’s an Accident Lawyer I can see where he is concerned about the liability and also agree with the helmet law, but I think that it would be very good if we could all somehow get a skate park built in Lancaster.

      I’m a member of the committee that will find a solution for everyone and will be pushing for a way to make a skate park happen.
      I just have a little concern being a resident of Quartz Hill that if there is limited county funding for this that our town doesn’t get screwed out of a skate park in favor of it going to Lancaster.
      But to be honest where in Quartz Hill would it go? Lame Park? No thank you. There are not really any good sidewalks to get there on skateboard and I don’t want to deal with the increased skate board traffic on streets that are already traveled by cars as excessive speeds.

      • William
        July 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        Poor Rex must be conflicted about liability. As a lawyer, he loves to sue, as we’ve seen, but as mayor, he doesn’t want the city to be sued.

        How does he sleep at night?

        • Fassett
          July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

          I always imagined him sleeping comfortably on the shattered dreams of the homeless people he couldn’t ship out.

  19. taz1516
    July 25, 2012 at 9:17 am

    why can’t Lancaster build a skate park for the kids like turn the useless park on ave I into a skate park or one of the other useless parks the city has wasted money on

  20. Omar
    July 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

    We skate over there because we don’t have a skate park in Lancaster and really skate at home trust me skating at home get boring quick. Also if they didn’t want us to skate there why did they build a pharmacy right on the blvd. Who want to go all the way to Palmdale pharmacy in the mall to get supply really no one because we don’t have a car to get out there. Let us skate!

  21. crystal
    July 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

    If they didnt want skateboarding on the BLVD, they should never let pharmacy open a shop there. How are kids supposed to get there to buy more skateboards? If you live in lancaster there is no where to skate legally. Maybe they should just stay in and play video games.

    • really?
      July 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

      How are kids supposed to get there to buy more skateboards? You ask?

      It’s an interesting invention called – wait for it – WALKING!!!!

    • Adam Chant
      July 25, 2012 at 9:47 am

      There is a pharmacy in the Mall and kids do not skate board in the mall. The city can not really dictate who can and can not rent retail space on the BLVD.
      The intent from the beginning was to see how it went with the skateboarders and allow Pharmacy to police their customers. That so far has not worked out as planned so now law enforcement has to waste time and money doing what should have been natural to any properly assimilated young adult in society.

      • William
        July 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        Ah, the whole BLVD thing was so well thought out. They are constantly having to ‘fix’ things that aren’t working.

        Maybe they need to turn up the bird sounds from the loudspeakers to calm down the skateboarders and they people they annoy.

      • Robert Parker
        July 27, 2012 at 12:28 am

        Here is a partial list of the complaints the Loft people have filed since the Pharmacy moved onto the BLVD

        (1) Human excrement on the grounds

        (2) Used condoms on the grounds

        (3) Rotten fruit peppered onto the stairs and patio

        (4) Broken lobby door lock

        (5) Skateboarders in the courtyard, on our walkways, on the roof, and in the parking garage

        (6) Skateboarders constantly slamming their boards under the east facing windows

        (7) Skateboarders swearing, cussing and using unacceptable language forcing residents to close their windows

        (8) Skateboarders harassing residents who are trying to enter or leave the parking garage

        (9) Skateboarders harassing guests visiting the residents of the Lofts

        (10)Skateboarders threatening residents and guests

        (11)Skateboarders using crude and obscene gestures toward residents and guests

        (12)Skateboarders joy riding the elevator for hours at a time – multiple incidents of broken elevator functionality

        (13) Skaters openly engaged in sexual activity in the courtyard

        (14) Plastic crates, mattresses and other items being dragged into the east facing alley for use by skateboarders as jumping platforms. They leave this crap behind when they have finished skating essentially creating a blockade in the alley.

        (15) Multiple events of residents catching skaters trying to break the lock for roof access.

        (16) Flash mob attacks in the courtyard

        Good luck with that skate park in Quartz Hill

        • Adam Chant
          July 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

          Might as well add:
          (17) Upset the Arts 21 residents because they thought they forever had a Gallery at the Lofts, but Ironwood Management replaced it with Pharmacy Board Shop.

          It’s obvious that the only reason this is an ‘excited’ issue after having Pharmacy on the BLVD for no more than one month is because the ‘Artists’ at the Lofts are upset that they lost the space called ‘The Gallery’ to a retail establishment.

          The fact of the matter is that while yes there has been an increase in skateboarder traffic on and around the BLVD there are more reasons than just Pharmacy for this increase in traffic. Summertime, safe streets, something to do, other retail businesses, etc.

          So instead of the artists taking the REAL issue to task they project it on to the skateboarders and Pharmacy. Get a Lawyer sue your landlord or move out if you don’t like that the Gallery is no longer available. Trying to light a match under the ass of the city for a new ordinance to outlaw skateboarding wont do anyone any good.

          • Robert Parker
            July 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

            Adam – Great to see that you are prepared to be an impartial and open-minded member of the group being tasked by the Mayor to explore reasonable solutions. You clearly have pre-determined that the Pharmacy Board Shop and skaters are victims of the artists’ calculated attack as a part of a premeditated scheme to retrieve their lost gallery space. Maybe you’ve been watching too much “Drop Dead Diva” … it may be interesting to hear more about what the artists have to say about the gallery grab. I watched the council meeting playback and, frankly, these people appear to have a very legitimate stance. The Mayor also appeared quite clear on his position regarding the artists and the importance, at least to him, in preserving their place within the community and certainly on the Blvd.

          • Adam Chant
            July 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

            Robert –
            Yes, and No. I actually support the concept of the Gallery, but it was empty 90% of the time over the last year.
            At the same time knowing where the complaint came from and how it was delivered there is no doubt that it is melodramatic.

            – The skateboarding, bikes, skates, scooters, etc needs to be addressed for the whole of the BLVD.
            – If there is a stipulation in the Rental agreement for Artists pertaining to the use and availability of the Gallery then it needs to be adhered to by Ironwood Management. This however is a matter between the residents of the lofts and Ironwood, not directly a matter that should be brought up at a city council meeting. (some would argue)
            Using the skateboarders as a vehicle to deliver this message was a little disingenuous.

          • Robert Parker
            July 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

            Didn’t the artists speaking at the meeting reference city money and HUD money for building the place? They seemed to implicate the city because of the financial ties. Probably one more thing HUD will investigate along with everything else they are probing. I wasn’t aware that the gallery had been empty 90% of the time for the past year.

          • Robert Parker
            July 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

            Adam – Following from the AIA website. Pretty strongly supports the artists’ argument concerning the developer’s promise to the various agencies and the city. One could argue that if the developer took the gallery away AIA should take the award away.

            This 21-unit affordable housing development for artists is the first urban infill project to be completed since the city implemented its new Downtown Specific Plan to transform this mostly vacant city area into “a place of historic, cultural, social, economic and civic vitality.”

            Seldom frequented by pedestrians in recent times, the historic core of the city is now host to community events such as farmer’s markets and street fairs.

            The program includes 21 live/work loft apartments for artists, a non-profit gallery, and an outdoor exhibit/gathering space. The public face of the building above the gallery has an iconic curvilinear massing, which opens views deep into the site to encourage visual and physical exploration of the courtyard exhibit space.

            In response to the potential needs of the intended user group, many enhancements were included in the design of the 21 two-story living units, including high ceilings, abundant natural light, natural and mechanical ventilation for fresh air, finished concrete floors, a 220-volt outlet for equipment such as a kiln, etc. The non-profit gallery is curated by the tenants as an outlet to show and sell their artwork.

            The design incorporates many sustainable design methods; among these, the use of high efficiency mechanical systems qualifies the design to exceed California Title 24 Energy Code requirements by 20% and the lighting system exceeds the requirements by 24% which significantly reduces the use of energy. Additionally, the project received the support of the City and financing through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

          • William
            July 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm

            If Lancaster Boulevard was historically the ‘heart of the Valley’ years ago, why weren’t on and off ramps from the SR-14 built for it? They have them further north with nothing on either side of the freeway.

            I think that’s why the old Factory Outlet (I don’t know what it’s called now) was a bust, no immediate freeway access and the same thing will limit the amount of out-of-area visitors to the BLVD. It’s a pain to get to and doesn’t get easier once you’re there.

            In fact, very little in Lancaster development looks well planned, just scattered shopping centers here and there. Even the new BLVD lacks so many of the types of retail that a traditional downtown has.

            One odd thing I’ve noticed, is the large drug stores on the corner lots of major intersections, such as CVS and Walgreens. Are they supposed to be the ‘anchors’ for the little shopping centers? Are there that many old people in Lancaster needing prescriptions and adult diapers?

        • S. Parker
          July 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

          Mr. Parker,
          If what you are saying is true, that is truly disgusting! Skateboarders are acting like wild animals that need to be caged. Even in my wildest days of youth, I never acted like that!Where is the home training?

          I couldn’t imagine having to live under that kind of stress. I know several artists and they need to work in environments that enhance their creativity. How any artist can do any work at all in the face of this terror is beyond me. I can’t believe there are people on this site defending this crap!

          This irks me to no end and I don’t even live in the lofts. I say boot the Pharmacy shop from The Blvd and all the little skate demons will follow!!!

          • Robert Parker
            July 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

            I talked with one of the most impacted artists, the residents have called the police a number of times, written detailed letters to the Mayor and city officials, talked to the press talked with community business members, written to their management and owners and have come forward at two or perhaps more council meetings. They have talked and appealed to the Pharmacy Board Shop and to the skaters on countless occasions. The things I listed in an earlier posting were details provided by an artist.
            I don’t think its gone lost on anyone that Mr. Erlich has taken over management of the new museum, hiring an art dealer to manage the museum, thus creating a “commercial” feeling in the tax funded “museum” which by the way now charges an admission fee. One could possibly see a correlation between closing the gallery with his taking control of a “bigger” gallery next door.[MOAH] Maybe the artists have inadvertently opened Pandora’s Box or maybe their efforts to reclaim the gallery started before the skater hell fire was launched on the city. We may never know, but it sure is interesting to explore the possibilities when the City, Scott Erlich and big money seem to have left a stinky trail in the shit storm.

  22. July 25, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Rollerskaters are not the issue so why ban US?!We are an active member in the community, especially on the Blvd (Farmer’s Market, parades, etc.)Why should we be penailized when it’s skateboards that are an issue?!

  23. Sk8er
    July 25, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Skatboarding is not a crime.

    • really?
      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

      But running people over, crashing into them and destroying property is.

      • Sk8er
        July 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

        The same can be done with a car and noone is calling to outlaw cars on the BLVD.

        • Chris French
          July 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

          Good for you SK8ER – stick with it don’t give up. Skateboarders upset people send them to Palmdale. Bicycles upset you send them to Cal City. Roller skaters get you down off to Mojove with you. Cars cut you off banished to Littlerock. Before long anything and everything that ticks somebody off will banned and banished from Lancaster. OK that dude just bumped into me. Banned and banished to Lake L.A. WOW! Where did everybody go?

        • really?
          July 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

          That would be because no one is driving their car on the freaking sidewalk!

          • William
            July 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

            You’re talking to the logic-challenged.

  24. sacryinshame
    July 25, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Let your kids skate at home. Why do they have to be speeding down the sidewalks on the Blvd? Bikes and skateboards do NOT belong on sidewalks. If your kid is old enough to be out “skating” by themselves, undoubtedly with their cell phones, then they should be using bike lanes or go to a park. Why is it other peoples job to entertain and babysit kids who want to be hanging out on the Blvd and in parking structures? Kids have no respect for other people things, privacy or rights. They will say they do when asked, but actions speak louder than words.

    • Chris French
      July 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Cell phone? Seriously!I don’t recall anybody mentioning that they are being asked or told to entertain someone elses kids. Speeding down a sidewalk or hanging out on the blvd or parking structure, which is it. or do you just hate kids being kids. Destruction of personal property IS a crime and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Who and how is someones privacy being violated. You speak of rights, last I checked every time one of these “violators” buy somwthing they pay a sales tax. What of there rights? or only adults entitled.

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