Beuel At the groundbreaking ceremony for the second construction phase of the skatepark in the Beueler Rheinaue, the city of Bonn was combative. How does the administration see itself prepared for a possible legal dispute with residents?
Although the sky over the Rheinaue in Beuel was covered with dark rain clouds, Sascha Heinz was beaming. The chairman of the association Subculture felt the visit of the city leadership as beneficial and clear proof that the city of Bonn is one hundred percent behind the skatepark.
Lord Mayor Katja Dörner (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) was clearly aware that the appointment was important to her. She really wanted to be there for the groundbreaking ceremony for the second construction phase. And in order to make the significance of the date clear, she was accompanied by Birgit Schneider-Bönninger, Head of the Department of Culture and Sports, and Stefan Günther, Head of the Department of Sports.
Lady Mayoress regrets resistance
"The skate park offers optimal conditions for all fans of this sport," said the Lord Mayor, "the administration has supported this wonderful project from the beginning. Without the tireless commitment of the club, the skatepark would not have been built." However, the OB regrets that there was and is resistance to the skatepark. "For me, it is incomprehensible how disturbing noise can emanate from the facility on the nearest residential development in a few hundred meters, especially since the skate park is located in a recreational park that is used by many people for various leisure activities," Dörner said.
Günther explained the background to the visit: "The city of Bonn has received a second complaint. This time, residents are objecting to the approval of the second construction phase." Construction work can nevertheless begin, as the legislature wanted to prevent the interests of third parties from generally being given priority over the implementation of a reviewed and approved construction project. As reported, it had become known in July that residents had already filed a lawsuit against the operation of the skate park in 2019.
City feels well prepared
The city administration feels well equipped this time - should it come to a procedure before the Administrative Court of Cologne. And the head of the sports department added: "With the building application for the second construction phase, a noise protection report was commissioned and submitted with the approval documents. In it, future use is forecast and calculated on the basis of empirical values." The study also considers use until 10 p.m. on weekdays, as well as Sundays and holidays, including subsequent parking lot noise, Schneider-Bönninger explained.
"The investigation comes to the conclusion that the immission control requirements will be safely met by the operation of the skate park after completion of the planned construction phase 2. The administration therefore assumes that any concerns of the residents of the Beueler Rheinauen Park can be invalidated in the legal proceedings," said Günther. Initially, in the first construction phase in a neighborhood lawsuit, a compromise was found to contain the noise development, which restricts the operation of the skate park, but made a building permit possible.
Riding fun not only for club members
Since August 2018, the skatepark in the former youth traffic school on Landgrabenweg has offered fun for skaters. The association Subculture, to which the city has left the facility, makes the skatepark available to the public. It can be used independently of a club membership.
While the club had the first construction phase built with subsidies from the sports promotion department of the city of Bonn, the sports and baths office is currently implementing the second construction phase. The club is contributing its own services. A total of around 450,000 euros is being invested. The association needs donations urgently, in order to be able to finance its own portion of the development. Whoever would like to help, will find the account number on the Internet site of the association.
"Even though obstacles have been placed in our way time and again since the start of planning for the skate park, we are incredibly grateful to have realized such a great project in close cooperation with the city of Bonn and to finally be able to expand it," says Heinz.
(Original text: Holger Willcke, Translation: Mareike Graepel)