All Erin Schreyer wanted was to have a safe and sleek basketball hoop for her children to use. But this month, the University Park resident was told her front yard was out of code.
“We love the city, and we paid a lot of money for our house, too, and we want it to be beautiful, too,” Schreyer said. “That’s why we got the goal we did.”
Ultimately, it comes down to construction. Portable hoops, such as ones anchored by gallons of water or sand, are allowed, but anything secured by concrete or screws is not.
Schreyer’s is secured by four screws, which technically could still be removed. But the hoop style is considered “semi-permanent,” and therefore out of code. After suggesting the Schreyers replace their hoop with a portable one, a June 8 letter from the city said officials appreciate the family’s “cooperation to maintain a healthy, safe, and beautiful place to live.”
“It’s not safe, and it’s ugly,” Schreyer said of the suggested portable style. “It does none of those things.”
She fears that the bottom-heavy water and sand styles are easy for children to knock over because of the uneven weight distribution.
Once they received the letter, the Schreyers had one week to resolve the issue before they were subject to a fine. The mother of two decided to take matters into her own hands and call the city.
Robbie Corder, director of community planning, encouraged her to voice her concerns to the city manager, Bob Livingston, through a letter. After all, University Park has a history of issues with front-yard sports gear.
In the summer of 2006, the City Council was headed toward a ban of portable basketball hoops, until a public outcry changed officials’ minds. That decision came about a decade after University Park outlawed permanent hoops like the one in the Schreyers’ front yard.
Later in ’06, the city opened its first basketball courts at Burleson Park. But Schreyer likes being able to adjust the height of her own hoop for younger children.
After her conversation with Corder, Schreyer sent a letter to Livingston, who said the issue would be presented to the council as a discussion item, most likely on July 2 or 16.
“We appreciate giving kids the opportunity to play basketball in our driveway and will continue to do so,” Schreyer said.