New Alga Norte Park in Carlsbad draws crowds but also ire of neighbors over noise at skateboard park

Parks & Rec. chief considering input about changes

CARLSBAD, Calif. - The lights are out and Carlsbad's new Alga Norte skateboard park is closed, but the echoes of the night are still vivid.

Earlier in the evening, Mel Levin was standing in his backyard on the bluff above.      

"It's upsetting," he said. "I've been depressed for a month. I haven't been outside for weeks.  I just refuse to come out here. It's too upsetting to me."

He gestured over the fence to the park below.

"There are maybe eight to 10 kids down there right now which is nothing," said Levin. "On Saturday, there'll be a hundred kids."

The park opened last month. Carlsbad Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine told 10News, "Some neighbors are experiencing new noises, new traffic patterns, things they weren't experiencing before so we're very mindful of that and we're committed to being as neighborly as we possibly can."

Alga Norte Park is hugely popular for those who use it, but they are aware of complaints.

Cindy Roper was picking up her son after swimming practice. 

"We're thrilled with the park, happy it's close, the facilities are beautiful," she said. "We have heard a lot of complaints about the skate park being noisy at all hours."

Hazeltine said he is watching closely. 

"Currently, our operating hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the skate park so we keep security here at night to make sure nobody's skating after hours or before it opens," he said.

There are still sounds that spill over and carry. Another neighbor named Ron said he was initially excited about the park. 

"It's great for the community but it does get a little noisy," he said.

Ron explained that his glass fence helps cut back on the noise, but says, "When I'm upstairs, you have to shut the window to not hear anything."

Levin had this suggestion.

"A wall … they need a wall 6 to 8 feet high or a sound barrier," he said.

Hazeltine had already considered that. 

"The geography doesn't really lend itself to a security wall and a large sound wall makes issues for police when they come by," Hazeltine said.

Levin is not optimistic that the city will do enough to satisfy his concerns. 

"The obvious answer is move and I think that's what I have to do," he said.

Hazeltine said, "We are open to any constructive comments they have and we're committed to being as good a neighbor as we possibly can be."

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