Lowcountry skateboarders banished to the deep end

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For six months out of the year, the backyard of Shannon Smith's Mt. Pleasant home takes on an alter ego. Without a legitimate skatepark in the Charleston area, Smith has converted her home into a skateboarding heaven. But that will only last her so long.

"It's embarrassing we don't have a park in our town," says the skateboarding mother of two. "It's definitely been a long road, these past five years... to try and get a city to do something they should have done years ago."

As president of Charleston's chapter of Pour It Now, a skateboard advocacy group in the Lowcountry, Smith has been fighting for a downtown skatepark for the past five years. She says they have $2 million set aside by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Committee and a lot of support. But still no park.

"We have the (SC)DOT as our only road block and having the money which is not public money, having the mayor's support. We're at this roadblock with federal transportation and them coming off the property."

Smith says the South Carolina Department of Transportation owns the land off Meeting Street where the park would be placed and even though Pour It Now in association with the Parks and Recreation division have fulfilled a majority of the DOT's requirements, they aren't budging.

Smith isn't budging either. The heel flipping mom says the next step is already underway. Parks and Recreation is in the process of drawing up a $60,000 site plan for the SCDOT to review.

Until the SCDOT decides either way, skateboarders in the Lowcountry are still in the deep end.

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