Alameda County supervisors approve anti-skateboarding ordinance

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) -- Skateboarders beware: there's a new ordinance on the books that might mean practicing the sport could get you busted and even fined in certain spots in Alameda County.

At the Town Park skate park in West Oakland, skaters of all ages work their skills on the different terrain.

"So much different things you can do with your imagination, you can just bring to a platform on a skateboard, you know," said Fred Wilson of Oakland.

But sometimes, skaters say they don't have time to make it to a skate park, or they want to try something different, so they improvise. A popular place is the county courthouse steps on Fallon Street.

"That's a super iconic spot. It's kind of seen as a home base for skateboarders out here in Oakland," explained Gustav Shochat of Berkeley.

And that can mean putting government property to use for unconventional purposes.

"There's a beauty in everything that you see. There should be no reason that all these should go to waste," added Wilson.

But the Board of Supervisors decided to vote on an ordinance that would enforce a ban on skateboarding on county property and even fine violators.

"The reason we're concerned about skating on county property is not necessarily because of damage but due to liability," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley during the Board's Tuesday meeting.

One youth advocate at that meeting denounced the idea.

"We believe that in Alameda County, there's over-criminalization of a lot of different activities. And here is yet another example of that," argued Maria Dominguez from the Elle Baker Center for Human Rights.

The measure passed unanimously. Skaters were not happy.

"I think that's very lame. I'm curious as to how that's going to go down with the skateboarding community out here in Oakland," said Shochat.

"They should just be like happy that we're not trying to...we're not in the streets. We like trying to do something positive," added Wilson.

The ordinance takes effect in 30 days, but as yet, it's unclear how much the fines would be for skating on county property.