Skatepark Will Be Demolished In Anne Arundel, Property Owner Plans To Build Apartments
ODENTON, MD — A DIY skatepark will be demolished Friday in Odenton.
The park was built without permission on somebody else's private property. The property owner plans to build an apartment complex on the otherwise vacant lot.
The Flats DIY Skatepark is located next to the Flats 170 at Academy Yard apartment complex on Telegraph Road.
Skaters built the park themselves, constructing ramps, rails and a shack. The skating community donated money over Venmo to buy the materials.
"The Flats DIY is so much more than a space for people who skate to hone their skills," Skater Tessa Fullmer said in a petition to save the park. "The Flats DIY has become a space to bring people of all different ages, backgrounds, and cultures together."
Fullmer started the petition Sunday to save the park, collecting more than 1,700 signatures.
County Council Member Julie Hummer (D-District 4) confirmed that the demolition will continue, however. She understands why the skaters cared about the park, but she also recognizes the legal and injury liability the park poses for the property owner.
"I am fully sympathetic with the skaters that they want somewhere to go," Hummer told Patch on Thursday. "The Flats property that they're using is private property."
The Anne Arundel County Police Department went to the park Wednesday and warned skaters they could be charged with trespassing if they returned, Hummer said. Anti-trespassing signs are posted outside all the entrances to the property, but a fence on the property line has boards removed where skaters once entered.
Hummer has invited the skaters to meet with her. She reserved a room at the Odenton Library to discuss what they would like to see in a potential skatepark.
"Let's see if we can find some property and create some kind of park for them," Hummer said, noting that building a public park would take some time.
Fullmer said The Flats was the only skatepark in Odenton. Hummer pointed to skateparks in Glen Burnie and Bowie but acknowledged that those are far away. Hummer is willing to work with the Department of Recreation and Parks to bring an alternative to Odenton.
"We have poured our hearts into making this space and it has gained a substantial following in the greater DMV area," Fullmer said in the petition, pointing to their Instagram page with more than 800 followers. "The Flats DIY has spawned a community of skateboarders who are dedicated to working with the City to take care of the space."
The apartment complex set to replace The Flats DIY Skatepark will be called Academy Yard Phase II.
Located at 8335 and 8339 Telegraph Road, the mixed-use complex will have 297 apartments. It's expected to have retail stores on the ground level with the apartments on the upper floors.
The county is still reviewing the preliminary plans, so the apartment construction is not yet finalized. More information is posted here.
"We wish there was a different outcome," The Flats DIY Skatepark said Wednesday in an Instagram story. "It's a sad week for us but we love all of you and your support of what we've built."
Stay tuned for an upcoming story on the apartment complex and how it ties into the county's plans for the Odenton Town Center.
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