BMX bikes are no longer welcome at Etnies Skatepark, the city of Lake Forest announced late Thursday afternoon.
The BMX bike ban is a result of "recent concerns over liability, insurability and governmental immunity," according to a press release from the city.
No specific incident spurred the ban, according to city officials.
BMX riders were invited in 2004 into the skate park, which opened in December 2003.
However, the press release says that the skate park was "designed and constructed for skateboarding activity only."
In the years since BMX riders were allowed into the park, the decision has provoked controversy.
A tentatively outlawed BMX pegs—tubes of metal, plastic or other material attached to front or back bike axles so riders can slide along hard edges—which city officials said can damage the park's concrete surfaces.
But, the City Council , asking city staff to bring the item back at a later date with additional information about other ways to minimize possible damage.
Jonathan Bocan, owner of Morning Ride BMX on El Toro Road, said the ban was unexpected but not necessarily a surprise after the peg debate and a previous attempt to require bikers to have brakes.
"It's definitely unfortunate, because as it is, riders are limited to not only hours [at skate parks] but places to ride," he said. "We're just going to end up hitting the streets."
Concerns about damage to the concrete in Etnies Skatepark are overstated, he said.
"Old-school skaters say that bikes cause damage," he said. "The fact is that skaters cause as much damage as bikers."
Bocan said that pitting is visible in the concrete at the Laguna Niguel Skateboard Park, where BMX bikers are not allowed.
"That shows that boards cause damage just like bikes would," he said. "It's like playing soccer on a football field. [The concerns about damage are] beyond me."
Bocan said he suspects the ban is , slated for an Aug. 20 grand opening.
"They just dumped all that money into that expansion and don't want bikes to screw it up," he said.
According to the city's statement, BMX bikes will be prohibited "for the foreseeable future."
"When these concerns may be resolved is unknown at this time," it concludes.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the status of the peg ban tentatively approved by the Lake Forest City Council in March.