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Posted on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Five hoops confiscated just more than a week after Ypsilanti Township bans street basketball

By Tom Perkins

A week after Ypsilanti Township enacted an ordinance prohibiting basketball from being played in the streets or otherwise in the public right-of-way, five basketball hoops have been confiscated after their owners violated the ordinance.

The owners now have 30 days to pay a $100 and find their own means to transport the hoops out of impound, or the hoops will be scrapped.

The ordinance went into effect on July 4, and Mike Radzik, director of the township’s office of community standards, said complaints about hoops in the street in the Greene Farms subdivision came in immediately.

Radzik stressed that ordinance officers are not driving around looking for hoops.

“We received a flurry of complaints in Greene Farms, among other places,” he said. “We gave out around nine to 10 courtesy warnings, and ended up confiscating five hoops on Friday morning.

“All of these were complaint-based, so we were responding to complaints from people in the neighborhood.”


A street basketball hoop in Ypsilanti Township.

Tom Perkins | For

The township didn’t immediately respond to complaints in an effort to allow residents some time to learn about the new ordinance, but ordinance officers placarded nine hoops after the continued complaints on Thursday, Radzik said.

The brightly colored placards are posted on the hoop pole and state that the hoop is in violation of the ordinance and must be moved immediately. Radzik said ordinance officers also post placards on a house or make contact with an owner, if possible.

Residents have 24 hours to remove the hoops before ordinance offers check back to see if they have been removed. A local tow company is contracted to remove the hoops and charges a $100 fee, which is passed on to the owner.

The other four hoops’ owners removed their placarded hoops voluntarily.

The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees approved the new ordinance at its June 24 meeting.

Residents and neighborhood groups have been complaining to Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies and the township that kids — as well as some adults — are pulling hoops to the end of their driveway or lawn extension and playing basketball in the street.

Residents have complained that these groups aren’t moving out of the way for motorists, and officials say that creates a dangerous and frustrating situation.

Residents playing basketball in streets, culs-de-sac, or with hoops on lawn extensions or otherwise in the public right-of-way, are now given a warning to pull their hoop back onto private property.

Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe previously said Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jim Anuszkiewicz recommended the township develop an ordinance because there is no good way for officers to order games out of the street.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the news desk at



Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:53 a.m.

I really do not understand what the problem is, the street is for cars, everything, and every activity has a time and place. The street is for cars, its not rocket science. When I was a child if I wanted to play basketball, I went to a basketball court, let it be someones back yard, the park, or created in a field.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

"...hoops in the street in the Green Farms subdivision..." " Greene Farms..." still spelled two different ways in the same story. one is wright, one is rong.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

You are incorrect..... Juan was write juan was wong nope no humor hear...


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

As someone said... A little respect on the part of the BB players and this would not have become an issue! End of discussion!

Big Dog

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Love the picture. Take the hoop away, but we allow handicap scooters and golf carts in the street.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Hoops in the streets... This I ridiculous. Kids have been playing on residential streets as long a streets have been around. The difference of course is the attitude of the kids, and the attitude of todays drivers. This ordinance does nothing to keep the kids out of the streets. This will only cause them to be slower moving from the streets as traffic approaches. Tis goes for the young (ADULTS) you mention as well. The ordinance should not be against the hoops, the ordinance should be about lingering in those streets with approaching traffic. Young adults should be ticketed, while the children should be charged to the parents and fines given. Without the hoops the kids will find something else to occupy their time (IN THE STREETS) . There is no law about basketballs, footballs, playing catch with baseballs. This ordinance singles out hoops. I am sure that some people will be able to say that this is a racist act, as it attacks a single sport admired by a minority race. I believe that the township had better review this before they are required to refund fines, and hoop costs, as well as to pay for the hoop confiscation. Sit back township, until you find out if this is legal.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Instead of hoops, kids could play kick the can. You think basketball makes noise? Or how about stick ball?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Clearly the problem here is the yutes of this generation haven't seen Wayne's World. "Car!" (Moves hockey goal out of street. Car passes.) "Game on!"

Honest Abe

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

I'd rather have the kids shooting hoops than out getting into trouble. You gotta love it when government tells you what you can and cannot do.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 11:29 a.m.

Agreed. I lived in Greene Farms in HS, and there isn't much else to do around there. Playing basketball killed a lot of free time. Maybe it's THIS generation of kids, but we certainly stopped as a soon as car turned onto the street, waited the 10-20 seconds it took for them to pass by so we could resume play.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 11:28 a.m.

So, the only alternative to shooting hoops is getting into trouble? Seems there's more to life than those two things.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

All I can say is this. You have been warned and you got what you deserved. Move your cars to the side of the road and play ball by the house. Otherwise, the township is going to take your toys elsewhere. Thank you for sticking to your guns Mike and Deputies.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:49 a.m.

I bet they took their milk money too...


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

Ann Arbor has an ordinance that anything in the street except for a motor vehicle is a violation. We were told several years ago that we could not have a hoop sitting against the curb in front of our house. The officer told me that the city only allows motor vehicles in the street. Interesting that the city then asks you to place your trash recepticals in the street in clear violation of the ordinance. Too many restrictions that make no sense at all, especially if you live on a court.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

I dunno, maybe *gasp* put them up on the lawn extension? Not such a big deal for the subdivisions, but have fun riding up State, or Packard, or any other number of large streets where the cans cover the bike lanes.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

The trash receptacles sit on the street for maybe one day. They aren't going to go into your garage and empty your trash. Maybe you'd prefer to haul your garbage to the dump yourself?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

I wish Ann arbor would enforce this. Aside from b-ball hoops there are many unhitched equipment trailers left in the streets and they have little-to-no reflective material on them. They can be difficult to see in the dark, especially on rainy nights.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : midnight

What happen to first being found guilty ? We used to be presume innocence, now it seems like the courts treat you as you are guilty before going to trail


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

"He's stabbing that man, but we shouldn't stop him...he hasn't been CONVICTED yet!!!"


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

"Okay, that case of felonious assault is closed. Balif, please file the verdict. Next on the docket, the people of Ypsilanti Township vs this 15 year old in the case of street basketball ordinance violation. Young sir, how do you plead?"


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

You got the violation order to remove the hoop. How does being presumed innocent comes with violating a township ordinance? Now it is time to start calling in non mowed grass.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

If there were more trails around here maybe there would be less need for


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

are there any public and safe places for kids to play basketball? I remember seeing kids play ball in our neighborhood and just move when cars came by. It was actually a great sight to see kids of all races, playing in the neighborhood and just having honest, clean fun. So drivers had to slow down on a neighborhood street. Not a bad thing when you think of how fast some people drive anyway.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Sometimes I always wondered ok did you sometimes wonder? or do you always wonder? You really cannot have it both ways... smile and have a good day


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Same thing here. Sometimes I always wondered if my car would get keyed or house vandalized. Yes, I too have gotten dirty looks and really do not appreciate them either. We are taking the streets back.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

The kids won't move. They give nasty looks and cars have to turn around. It happened to me more than once and its happened to others I know. If you say, "Excuse me please" they respond by talking about how you are trying to interfere with their game like you are there just to antagonize them.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Expect what happens if the cars don't all slow down ?


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.

For the record, this picture was not taken in Greene Farms. I know; I live there. I would say there always seems to be some bias against any and all things Ypsilanti and the picture in the article just reinforces it.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 11:09 p.m.

It never fails that when this kind of news is published, the very predictable complainers come out with their beefs: - the police are spending their time on the wrong thing; - the police are targeting blacks; - someone's making a big deal out of nothing, wrecking someone's fun, etc; - "your tax dollars at work;" - this is the opposite of what should be done. Come on! Children are playing in the street. Do you want to hit one? I don't. Citizens complained. Police responded. Laws are in place. Complaints, not demography determined where hoops were tagged. Police tagged hoops with reasonable warning in accordance with existing law. Owners did not take them off the street. This is bad law/enforcement? Racist? It's not like the officers came and raided a street game. If kids really need to ball and have no other option, they can simply pull these off the street when they're not playing! No tag, no impound! How hard is that? This is so straightforward! Why must the gripers embarrass the rest of the citizenry with their gripism? I had to make up a word; I can't call it cynicism, because cynicism requires a higher level of awareness.


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Well said justcary!

1982 Brew Crew

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Great post and great new word (Gripism").


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:45 a.m.

Um, okay Paul, that could mean several things: Residents don't complain; it's not against the law; Oakland has an unresponsive PD. What's your point, and why should we care how they do things in Oakland County?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

I don't see Oakland county cracking down on those who ride golf carts on the subdivisions public roads.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Call Al Sharpton! Contact Jesse Jackson! Never mind that every public park in Ypsilanti Township has a basketball court, this is a blatant racist effort to deprive us of our right to do whatever we want to do, where ever we want to do it, whenever. The streets are for traffic, they aren't basketball courts, or bowling alleys or baseball diamonds, they're public roads. Grow up!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

@Paul - Does it matter? Unless the kids are playing in the highway, there are no "painted lines" in the streets either.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

Do the public parks BB courts have nets and painted markings on the courts or are they worn down and not kept up ?


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

i'm sure a lot of respectful kids will take the brunt of this, but the ordinance was needed. on my street the hoop was more about having a place to loiter and sell dope than it was about hitting a jump shot.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

This is a good point, the hoop is just cause for the pushers. The police have no right to search someone if they are just playing basketball. The ordinance may give them right. You are performing an illegal act on the street, empty your pockets. The thing is, pushers will just find another means to be in the streets. Dribbling a basketball, playing catch, or just blocking traffic because they can. The hoop is just a tool.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

Last time I checked, it was already against the law to sell dope. So if the current laws can't stop problems like dope selling near basketball rims, how is legislation outlawing basketball playing in the street going to help? Just another overstep of government. They can't enforce the laws already on the books, so lets punish everyone - including the good kids that play street basketball.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Ok. Now I'm beginning to understand.

Steve McKeen

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

It would be beneficial if could get a list of the addresses where basketball hoops were confiscated and then map it. The map would probably tell a very interesting story.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Somebody may have read between the lines of Steve's post. Maybe Steve was not thinking racial thoughts. It could be that he was thinking of the distance to a neighborhood park that has a hoop. Maybe he was wondering if this area has public transportation that would transport a group of young people to a safe park. The chances are you were right, but, here's hope people change.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

If you are looking for the map to show a low-income neighborhood of predominantly African American people you are wrong for now.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

From the street photo it looks like the residents could spend a little time trimming the overgrown trees, bushes, and grass instead of playing around. I bet that used to look nice.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

From that tiny photo you can see how "overgrown" bushes and grass is? It's a neighborhood not a putting green.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 10:10 a.m.

That isn't Greene Farms.

Michelle Valasin

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

I can understand if they would not stop the game and let traffic pass BUT with the picture you have posted, the kids that played ALWAYS watched for cars and moved out of the way.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

Yeah if they moved fast enough to get out of the way of the cars--what if somebody were to speed down the streets ? Kids-really nobody--should play in the streets, life isn't a joke, it could be gone in a flash

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

there are 3 'e' s in Greene Farms. you are welcome.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8 p.m.

"Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe previously said Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jim Anuszkiewicz recommended the township develop an ordinance because there is no good way for officers to order games out of the street." Why wasn't the ordinance about blocking the right of way or obstructing traffic verses complete removal of hoops? Where are the parents and community leaders who might not be Michael Jordan but need to be out there with the kids? GGRRR!


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

Your tax dollars at work...remember people, there is another police millage up next month. When they cry out that they are desperate, please remember that this is what they are using their resources to do.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

Isn't it funny how folks vote for the R's yet vote for millages ? Don't increase fed tax rates, just vote to increase your own taxes. Let the super rich get off paying 13% of their income to taxes, like fat cat Romney does

Michigan Reader

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

I think the owners of the hoops should give the ordinance officers 3 free jump shots from the free throw line (make one!) for a penalty.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

When kids can't afford the cost of organized sports, they play basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. where there is room. Provide a vacant lot, more parks, etc. for the kids to play. Do we want them on the streets doing nothing? This only brews resentment and trouble.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 10:05 a.m.

Greene Farms is very close, if not across the street, from the school complex. Let the kids walk (gasp!) and use the playground.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

What a shame people are so upset about kids playing outside. Maybe if we as adults slowed down a little, and didn't expect to go 40 down residential streets, there wouldn't be a problem either. There really aren't many places to play hoops anymore, and that's why kids are playing in the street. Huh, I think that is a bummer...and I'm old!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

When I was a teenager, we used to play hockey in the road. We would put our goal directly in the middle of the road. We did our absolute best to clear it when there was traffic. Sometimes we failed and someone had to wait a second, but there was never any animosity. That was 15-20 years ago. Listen to me, I sound like my dad!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

Laura - I wish what you said in your post was true. The sad truth is that motorists do slow down. The kids playing ball stare them down and give nasty looks and WON'T move. Its like a showdown or challenge of the wills. Kids and young adults have such a horrible sense of self-importance and no personal accountability and its apparent in common courtesy. And this is not an issue of race as past comments on previous reporting of this ordinance has eluded too. I see it in young people of any race. When I was a kid, my diverse group of friends and I would pull our hoops or street hockey goals out of the street quickly and smile and wave to the passing motorist who would smile and wave in return. Its a sad world now.

John of Saline

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

In my neighborhood, the kids get out of the street for traffic, and thus are able to play there. It's not hard; don't be a jerk and there won't be an issue.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

How many street hoops were actually stolen from driveways, or the "owner" is unknown? How many complaints will happen only because of people who hate to see anyone else having fun, and don't relate to traffic at all?


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Excellent. Go inside and play video games kids, I'm drivin' over here.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 10:02 a.m.

Or move the hoop into your driveway and play. The street isn't a playground.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

How about parents being home to take their children to the park to play a game instead of trying to stop traffic or playing video games. Hate to say it, I work and yet I make sure mine is always active in more ways then one. So the video game theory does not work with me. That goes for the lazy parent who does not want to go outside and be with their children.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

whojix, Brilliant statement!

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

no more "BALLIN IN THE WILLOW"? wheres green farm?

Little Patience

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Off of Whittaker Road, between Bemis & Merritt.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

I think it is in the Lincoln school area