Austintown skate park considered a 'nuisance' by township officials
It's a fun hang out for skateboarders and bikers at Wedgewood Ramps in Austintown but the owners just can't skate away from how many violations the business has.
This is a list of the following items Wedgewood Ramps is in violation of:
- Hours of operation
- Noise complaints
- Sub-leasing of the Wedgewood Ramps interior floor space
- Residential occupancy
- BYOB events
- Live music
- Non-compliance with the Austintown Fire Code
- Non-compliance with the Mahoning County Building Inspections Code
"We don't even want an apology, we just want the business to get in compliance with the codes," said Darren Crivelli, Zoning Inspector with Austintown Township. "The owners have ignored correspondences from the Austintown Fire Inspector, from the Mahoning County Building Inspector and from the Mahoning County Prosecutor's Office."
A conditional use permit was issued back in 2013 after the business was shut down for not complying with the township's code.
In 2018, the business was on watch again after a complaint was issued for using kerosene heaters and electric space heaters. In 2019, a complaint was issued for the owners using a generator to power ceiling lights.
"It's a bit unorthodox and loud but I don't think it's a nuisance," said Russell Kaye Jr., Owner of Wedgewood Ramps. "If there's any issue I will definitely respond to it and take action."
Russell Kaye Jr. told 21 News he assumed ownership from his father, Russell Kaye a few years back.
Aside from the listed items on the zoning document, there are several other concerns from township officials and neighboring businesses including 'lock-in' nights, the smell of marijuana, trash being left around the building, exceeding capacity limits and bikers riding up and down Wedgewood Plaza.
"If you walk into my facility at any given time after 10 o'clock, you're going to have an huge, significant odor of marijuana," said one official from Holy Apostles Parish Friday Night Bingo, whose wall touches a section of Wedgewood Ramps. They also complained of a customer urinating outside of the skate park building.
Kaye Sr. explained to officials during Thursday's Board of Appeals meeting that whenever police approach the property, the owners always comply with what law enforcement says. They added there has never been an arrest or fight break out at the facility.
"Anything they'd address I'd like to understand how they feel and we can move forward from there," Kaye Jr. said prior to the meeting. "I think it's been growing in a good way. Any issue we have we usually address it."
Kaye Jr. said anyone from the age of two to adults have memberships to the park. Crivelli said the fire and building code violations are a risk to children and anyone using the complex.
"I'm not going to sit here and explain to the media why he was in violation of various codes if something happened in there where kids got injured or even worse," Crivelli explained. "I'm not going to sit there and do that interview so we're going to deal with it now."
Kaye Sr. disagreed with most violations at the Board of Appeals meeting but his son, Russell Kaye Jr. said they're still willing to comply with the township's requests in order to keep the business.
The Board of Appeals is giving Wedgewood Ramps 90 days to correct their violations and are requiring stamped architectural drawings to the Mahoning County Building Inspections Department.