St. Andrews Businesses Push Back Against Skateboard Ban

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Panama City commissioners are considering banning skateboarding in Historic St. Andrews.
The ordinance states that some businesses requested the ban. 
But as News 13's Alex Thorson tells us, a majority of businesses in the area are against this ban. 

"People ride their bikes. They skateboard. That's part of the culture here," Heather Parker, the Creative Director at Floriopolis, said.

"My father who grew up in St. Andrews said, wait they want to do what?" Sunjammers owner, Brad Stephens, said.

"We want young people down here. We don't want to run them off," Sam Wolf, a St. Andrews property owner, said.

City officials told News 13 on Thursday that commissioners started looking at a ban after some businesses expressed concerns.

"We haven't turned up any merchant or employees of merchants who are in favor of banning skateboards," Parker said.

But one owner who declined an on-camera interview says she has been frustrated by skateboarders in the historic area.

City officials say safety concerns and traffic on the sidewalks will play a role in their decision.

"Banning a mode of transportation, a human powered mode of transportation, is not the answer," Parker said.

"I've only seen happy people skateboarding and they make it kind of fun to be here," Heather Ogilvie, a resident, said.

"It just makes my heart not warm anymore that kids can't ride their skateboards," said Gregory Vanderveen, an 11-year-old resident.

Business owners argue that the activity is, most importantly, a mode of transportation.

"We have a lot of merchants whose employees skate to work," Parker said.

"The thought that someone is going to exclude anyone from coming down here goes against everything we believe in," Stephens said.

Officials have not voted on the ordinance yet.
We will continue to update you with the progress of this ban. 

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