‘We are devastated’: Families outraged after neighborhood-built dirt bike track demolished

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DEL SUR, Calif. — Parents and kids are outraged in Del Sur after their neighborhood-built BMX track was leveled by the city on Wednesday. 

Neighbors describe it as the hotspot of the area — a place where kids went after school. 

“I mean they would work together, all the kids after school were out here,” neighbor Allison Leedom said. “They were playing, they were problem solving, they were being kids.”

It all started during the pandemic when kids and families in the neighborhood turned a vacant dirt lot into a dirt bike track for the neighborhood to enjoy. Leedom said her kids rode on the track nearly every day along with dozens of other kids in the area. 

“They loved it in an era and a time when so many kids are not out and sitting in front of a screen,” Leedom said. “And during COVID, they could only be outside. We encouraged it.”

Mountain biker Manuel Altamirano said the environment “allowed them to get familiar with their bike skills before they go out there.”

However, that all came to a sudden end on Wednesday when a bulldozer showed up and leveled it. 

“I was devastated,” Leedom said. “My kids are devastated, the neighborhood is devastated. The fact that this could happen is absolutely absurd.” 

The BMX track was so popular that the neighborhood association addressed why it was torn down by sending out an email to neighbors.

It stated the city issued a violation notice to have the track leveled because the lot is “100% conserved and not to be disturbed.” The letter also states in order to have a dirt bike course, the lot would need to be legally developed with permit.

“If there is a proposed activity, like a dirt bike track. then the lot needs to be legally developed first with a permit, but highly doubt that the city would approve it,” the letter read.

Altamirano added he understands there’s certain ways to do things, but says it’s hard because “kids are kids.”

“You got to let them be kids and enjoy, you know, being outside,” he said.

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