If you have read this paper over the years, then you have seen the name Chris Limon and read about the Linda Vista Skate Park.
I met Limon, a lifetime Linda Vista resident, back in 2013 when he first told me the story about a proposed skate park in Linda Vista. I marvel at the story because it came about in such a happenstance way. Chris was walking through the Linda Vista Shopping Center on the way to the store and a group of kids he’s seen grow up were skateboarding, keeping to themselves and doing tricks along the curbs in the parking lot near the Linda Vista Branch Library. In passing Limon said “you guys should ask the City for a skatepark”. Minutes later, walking back from the store a couple of the skateboarders stopped him and inquired with interest. “Are you serious”? “How do we go about asking for a skate park”? “Will you help us”?
From that day forward Limon became a Linda Vista Skate Park advocate. He advised the kids, teens and young adults to show up to a Linda Vista Town Council meeting. They did in mass.
The project had momentum and the wheels were in motion. The park was talked about at the LV Town Council, the LV Planning Group, it worked its way downtown to then City Councilor member and now Mayor Kevin Faulconer and to then newly elected at the time District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman.
The greatest, most obvious question was funding, enter Brian Schoenfisch a City of San Diego Program Manager/Long Range Planning employee in the Planning Department. Schoenfisch and other city staff researched grant money opportunities applied and received at first $3 Million from the Department of Housing and Community Development which earmarks money for parks around neighborhoods with low income housing. Also, early on in the process, professional skateboarder, Tony Hawk and his Tony Hawk Foundation became involved by donating $40,000 as startup/seed money. The City was then awarded an additional $1.4 million, which was used to build the newly opened City Heights Skate Park.
The LVSP is, at this time, the 2nd largest skate park in California, at 35,000 square feet, and 4th largest in the country. According to California Skate Parks, the builder of LVSP, the park has a massive street plaza, a snaking ditch run, a flow bowl, a backyard bowl as well as the signature full-pipe.
Unlike most skate parks which are closed off and to the side of a property, LVSP has a signature bridge which spans the length of the park across the southern end. The bridge design was quite specific and intentional to be open because of the fact this is first and foremost a City of San Diego park, which now a portion has been dedicated to a world class skatepark.
When I saw Chris Limon on January 16th at the official grand opening he was beaming from ear to ear. “We did it”, he exclaimed, “all because of a simple conversation with some kids, this is going to give the kids from Linda Vista something to do, we don’t have a baseball league there is no soccer league this skatepark is the answer. This park represents something fun and productive for the neighborhood, not just our local kids, but for skateboarders from all over and all ages… healthy, clean fun.”
Congratulations to Chris Limon, the Linda Vista Community and the City of San Diego for an epic addition to the region. I would encourage everyone to go over and check it out, stroll through the park hang out on the bridge and admire this iconic skate park.
The Linda Vista Skate Park is located in the LV Community Park on Ulric St & Levant St. off Linda Vista Rd and/or Genesee Ave.