The “Jetty Ramp” in El Granada, across from Surfer’s Beach, has made its way to the Granada Community Services District’s agenda two months in a row. The makeshift skate ramp will appear again at the board’s next meeting on July 11.
The ramp was built in 2011 by a group of volunteers and refurbished a few years later on Caltrans property. The group had no permission to build the ramp either time, and now Caltrans plans to remove it.
“I think that skateboarders, in general, don’t sit back and wait for the system to provide for them,” said Steve Hawk. The Midcoast resident sits on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation, which is dedicated to building skateparks across the country. “If they want a place to skate, they make it happen. But ... the fact it was built by locals just gave everybody a sense of pride and ownership.”
Officials say the immediate next steps would be to create a new ordinance that details what new liability signs would say and where the signs would be placed.
“We will have a meeting this month. We should be ready to OK that ordinance language and it has to be published in a public venue, the Review, and can’t take effect for 30 days until after it’s published,” said GCSD board member Matthew Clark. “This is called moving fast in the world of government.”
Hawk acknowledged some frustration among local skaters.
“The GCSD has agreed. They’re all aboard. They’re enthusiastic,” he said. “But now they have to slow down and take all the steps people in that position are required to take.
“I’ve had a couple people tell me, ‘Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it,’” he added. “I really like Matthew, and the board seems really sincere, so does the staff. We’re optimistic that they’re going to get it done.”
The GCSD acquired the insurance it needed and is still trying to find a new location for the ramp. It also has to put up signs warning of potential injuries due to skateboarding in order to absolve the district of liability, Clark said. Clark said he’s asked Caltrans to delay the removal of the ramp until it can be moved onto GCSD property.
“(The ramp) gets constant use during daylight, so that leapt to the front of our group consciousness,” Clark said.
When the skater community discovered the ramp was at risk of being removed, members created savethejettyramp.com. About 50 people attended a public meeting in May in support of the ramp, and a few more spoke in June.
Hawk said he has seen more than 100 emails from people reaching out through the website.
“The Jetty Ramp represents the lifestyle Half Moon Bay is known for,” one email read. “This should be a landmark, in all honesty.”