University Park resident and super dad Kyle Green has been hearing his son, Colby, talk about a game called Smashball since playing it at Camp Ozark last summer. A couple of weeks ago on March 26, Green decided to get the neighborhood kids off the couch and away from the Xbox by building the structure necessary for some Smashball smack downs on the vacant lot next door.
A few days later the game was in full swing but so was Mike Brackin from code enforcement with the City of University Park. Brackin showed up on the scene, knocked on some doors and ultimately told Green that “it must be removed in the next couple of days.” According to Green, Brackin claims the Smashball structure violates section 21 of the zoning code.
(c) Location of Dwellings and Buildings Only one (1) main building use with permitted accessory buildings may be located upon a lot or approved building site unless such structures are located on an officially approved site plan. Each dwelling shall face or front upon a public street or approved place, but shall not face an alley.Accessory Building or Use, Residential means a subordinate, detached building or structure in a residential district, used for a purpose customarily incidental to the main structure, such as a private garage for automobile storage, tool house, lath or greenhouse as a hobby (no business), home workshop, servants quarters, children’s playhouse, storage house, garden shelter or swimming pool, but not involving the conduct of a business, nor used as a dwelling area or place of abode except as noted under “Servants Quarters” as defined in this Section.Accessory Use means a use subordinate to and incidental to the primary use of the main building or to the primary use of the premises.
The vacant lot on the 4300 block of Purdue is owned by local real estate agent, Anne Oliver. Oliver would not comment on whether or not she approves but did say, “It’s against the law to build a structure on someone else’s property without permission.” Oliver said the lot has been vacant for a few months and that she is unsure of her plans for the property.
Brackin is out of the office until April 12 but his colleague, Russell Craig, said that it does need to come down though he’s unaware of the exact deadline. When asked why it must be removed he said, “Number 1, it’s a vacant lot. Number 2, he doesn’t own the lot. And number 3, it’s a structure without a main building.” When asked if any complaints had been received, Craid said, “I think so but I’m not sure.”
Green says the structure isn’t permanent but that it would need to be disassembled in order to relocate it.
That would be a shame according to neighbor Cynthia Smoot who agrees that the game has offered children a way to get outside and play safely without being in the street.
Seriously, go get the drug dealers and leave the Smashball arena alone. Unless the lot owner wants the thing off her property, but remember, no comment on that.