SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Township Council approved the introduction of an ordinance curtailing the use of skateboards, roller skates and razor scooters.  The proposed ordinance 16-12, introduced at the council meeting on June 14 prohibits their use “in or on all publicly owned parking lots, drive and access ways, parks recreation facilities and buildings.”

The ordinance specifically lists:

  • Town Hall,
  • Ungerman Field Complex
  • White Lake Park Field Complex
  • Station Park Field Comples,
  • Dykstra Park Band Shell,
  • Department of Public Works,
  • Sparta Public Library
  • Germany Flats Utility Facility

Additional public places noted in the ordinance include “all sidewalks and parking lots … for any private business establishment” including shopping centers, stores offices or any places of business.

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The proposed ordinance indicates it seeks to “reduce the liability associated with this activity on streets, sidewalks and public places,” saying the use of skateboards and other similar equipment has “often become a nuisance and safety hazard” for people on sidewalks, in public parks and other properties.

Sparta Township Manager Bill Close said in an interview, they were trying to “regulate where there were conflicts with others.”  Close indicated the ordinance was in response to feedback from the “recreation department and police where they have had incidents over time,” and where there were times when “they were in conflict with other events.”

Close said the purpose of the ordinance was to put parameters and guidelines in place.  There was no indication, however, of where skate boards, roller skates and razor scooters could be used legally within the township.

This ordinance wiil have a first hearing hearing at the Sparta Township Council meeting on Tuesday, June 28.  If approved it will then get a second reading to be formally adopted as a township ordinance.