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Posted on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Ordinance banning street basketball approved in Ypsilanti Township

By Tom Perkins

Are you or your kids planning to shoot hoops in Ypsilanti Township this summer?

Residents choosing to do so in the street or other public-right-of-way could face confiscation of their hoops and receive a ticket.

At its June 24 meeting, the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance that prohibits basketball from being played in the public right-of-way.

Residents and neighborhood groups have been complaining to 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.


Basketball hoops pulled onto the public right-of-way will no longer be permitted in Ypsilanti Township.

Tom Perkins | For

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.

“This ordinance was prompted by frequent resident complaints about the safety of young children playing in the street where passing motorists may or may not exercise due caution,” said Mike Radzik, director of the office of community standards. “Portable hoops in the street create a dangerous situation in a place not designed or intended for recreational activity.”

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

The Washtenaw County Road Commission has an encroachment policy regarding objects being placed near the road based on state law, but it doesn’t have the staff to enforce it, Radzik said.

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

An adhesive notice will be placed on the hoop's pole stating that the hoop has to be moved.

If the hoop still is found to be in the public right-of-way after 24 hours, then it could be confiscated and the owner written a municipal civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine.

The ordinance is slated to go into effect on July 4.

Roe said she received one email, from resident Paul Nucci, who spoke against the proposed legislation after the board approved the ordinance’s first reading at their April 22 meeting.

Nucci wrote that he lives in Ford Lakes Heights and there are portable basketball hoops that help make for a “fun, wonderful, close-knit neighborhood.”

“I cannot find one neighbor who has an issue with these in the street,” Nucci wrote.

Roe reiterated that the ordinance came at the request of the sheriff’s department, which handles complaints from residents about kids playing in the street but has no legal tools to stop them.

“The sheriff’s department didn’t have anything they could enforce, and deputies are saying ‘Give us something we can use,’” Roe said. “They do have to have a way to solve a problem or something residents have an issue with. This allows residents who have problems with (the basketball games) to have it handled and taken care of in a direct way.”

Roe added the violations will mostly be complaint-driven.

“The fact of the matter is someone is going to have to generate a complaint. We don’t have people riding around looking for kids playing basketball,” she said.

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



Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

I have a few things to say here. This issue is not so much about the hoop as it is the disrespect that is shown to drivers . Some of the nay sayers probably have never had to drive through your neighborhood and wait , not only for kids playing ball in the street, but also using the street as a sidewalk. they wont move out of your way . and when you are finally fed up, you blow your horn . this action is followed by a slew of dirty looks and vulgar language. It at this point that you wonder if your tires will be slashed or windows broken. All because you made the players and walkers move out of the street , out of your way.. and one more thing , it is not just kids, it is older teens and young adults as well..i fully support the ordinance.

E Claire

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

Sadly, lumberg, that's the way it works in this country.


Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

In your sub perhaps - but what about others that have no issues? Why is it that a few people that are annoyed get to dictate policy for the rest that are not? Why is it that because YOU are delayed, my kids have to suffer and they had no role in your delay. Disagree with the statement that "Ypsilanti Township neighborhood watch groups have expressed concern over the placement of basketball hoops at the end of driveways ... etc." The truth is SOME groups expressed concern while other groups and neighborhoods never even knew this was an issue because we were enjoying this activity in our neighborhoods with our kids, playing ball with them. Clearly the loudest group made the most noise and got this passed and another nail in the coffin of solid-knit neighborhoods was driven. Its just sad that these groups, all from the same area of Ypsi, had the juice to implement policy for the rest of the township that had no such issues. Its too bad more did not speak out against this and even more sad the board did not really ask if it was fair that a handful of groups dictate policy for the entire township. The reality is, most dont even know this was an issue or that they are now in violation and will be surprised next week if/when they get a ticket. Now, this people need to be more informed and pay attention but again, those that had no issue with it did not even know it was an issue.

Honest Abe

Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

The government (local or not) sure likes regulating every move we make.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Well if it was legal, you would have some folks jogging on the side of the expressways. Sadly we need to have so many laws today cause a few people either lack common sense or manners.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Definitely not a kid town...look what they have done to the skateboarders as well.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

First of all I want to know if my house is one that was complained about? since our basketball hoop is the one that is featured. My kids ALWAYS move for cars right away. I would never allow my kids to play ball in the street if they were going to be disrespectful about it. They are not bad kids, they could be doing worse things than playing a highly physical sport in front of their home (since Ypsi has absolutely nothing to offer to teens.). Too bad so many people are so angry in this town that they complain about something so petty. As for the parks...ha...that's a joke, half of them do not have hoops and there is hardly enough of them when there are functional hoops present. My kids being the GOOD kids they are will improvise and figure out something else. Oh yea, I am not sure that this is racist either. Most of all, thanks to all of the comments that support the idea of how lame this is ordinance is.


Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 5:47 a.m.

What park do you stay near in Ypsilanti Township Outspokenmom? Also, it would be possible to add more basketball hoops in the parks but....a recreation mileage might be needed to fund such a venture.

Ypsi-Arbor Girl

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Growing up... We would play basketball, tennis and hockey in the street. As a car approached... Someone would yell, "CAR". We would move... Then "GAME ON!" It is not that difficult!


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Oh I agree for sure, the cities lack social services for its people. Its the root of many problems. From the lack of bike lanes, to the poorly maintain parks. Some countries provide much more for its people.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

correction "is not" racist either.

John of Saline

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

"Residents have complained that these groups aren't moving out of the way for motorists." How hard is it to do that, guys? Geez. Way to respect your neighbors.

E Claire

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

I would assume "these groups" would refer to the people playing basketball. Not everything is about race or is racist. That's one of the biggest problems in our society today; everyone says white people won't talk about race but maybe white people are tired of being called racist no matter what they say or do.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

Who are "these groups"?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

People have been playing in the streets for decades. I have nothing against people playing in the street, as long as it is done safely and respectfully to people trying to drive past. What I find ridiculous is the sense of entitlement that so many people have now. If these people weren't forcing drivers to wait for them to finish a play, or drive around them like an obstacle course, I doubt that a law like this would have been requested or passed. Even more ridiculous is that these players allow their sense of entitlement to trump common sense, such as the natural instinct for self-preservation. Of course, they know who will most likely get the heat if someone is hit.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

If individuals are forcing cars to wait, police can deal with those individuals. A law that blankets everyone is ridiculous.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

"Residents have complained that these groups aren't moving out of the way for motorists" Let them move to Ann Arbor where motor vehicles are soon to be prohibited.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

I was playing touch football in the street just last week. Does that make me a fugitive?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

Its pretty easy to break a law in the "free USA"


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

Can't play basketball, but that guy in his mobility mobile is perfectly OK in the street.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

This ordinance wouldn't be necessary if parents were doing their jobs and teaching their kids manners. We used to play football in the street. As soon as someone spotted a car coming they yelled "Car" and we got on the easements and let them pass. This is just another example of the lack of common sense by some that results in the government having to infringe on our liberties.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

ha, I witness many adults who seem not to know how to walk in parking lots.

E Claire

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Exactly. I see this everywhere with younger people (of all races, before some calls me a racist). I sound like my mother but, kids today just have no respect or regard for anyone else. Hate to think what the next generation will be like.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

Ridiculous is the right word for this. I live in the Greene Farms sub and the Washtenaw County sheriffs have stopped by twice to tell me that our portable basketball hoop is illegal. It is on the sidewalk, but maybe takes up half of it and allows the kids to play hoops in our driveway, not out in the middle of the street. It is amazing that the Ypsilanti Township government officials and county sheriffs have nothing better to do than this...


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Who paid for that sidewalk, you or tax dollars ? It wasn't put there to play basketball but for people to walk safely down the road...yeah I know, who takes walks now of days ?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Can you either move your portable hoop onto your lawn, or mount a hoop on your garage, assuming you have one, since you have a driveway? Assuming its mounted on the garage, perhaps more room to play?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

ypsidomer, you should be visited by the Sheriff. Since when can you legally block the sidewalk, even just half?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

I personally have no problem what so ever with this passing. The key will be how it gets enforced. If the deputies stay true to the idea they won't be out looking for violations, and will only respond to complaints I have no problem. I would go one step farther however. I think even after a complaint, the officers would actually have to witness a violation of basic laws of traffic to issue a warning then cite a violator. For example, a call about a violation comes in. The deputies respond and witness a game being played in the street. If the players are getting out of the way of traffic they let it slide. If they are holding up traffic not being respectful of other uses of the road, then issue a warning or citation. What I would have a problem with is if they just start issuing citations because they see hoops near the road. Street basketball is certainly not the biggest issue facing the community, but it can be a safety issue. I do like the idea about developed leaving some open space for something like a basketball court. When a new milt-unit property is developed, the new site plans should require a certain amount of space for recreation.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

Cops always LOOK for certain things in certain areas. You gotta quit believing everything cops say.

Robert Granville

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Hey kids? Looking for something to do this summer? Basketball is a no go... but I heard the local corner boys are hiring lookouts....


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

Not like it is outlawed. Just keep the basket in your driveway. If you don't have a driveway, then there is no point in owning a hoop.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

When I played in the street as a kid, we did have lookouts to keep track of cars. That was so we could get out of the way in time for the cars to pass by unimpeded and so we didn't get hit. I know you don't mean this when you say "lookout," but it's an idea that kids should still be using to prevent laws like this from having to be passed. But then again, too many kids simply don't care about anyone but themselves these days. And their parents don't even try teaching them to care.

Rick Stevens

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

How about linking to the actual ordinance?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

It said its civil infarction, so doesn't have much "teeth".


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

I think in the D, they wish their biggest problem was rouge street basketball.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

"aggressively playing basketball"? If you're not "aggressively playing", you're not really playing very well :)

John of Saline

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Well, actually, when some Detroiters moved to Southfield during the real estate crunch, lots of Southfielders complained about some of the new residents playing music at all hours and aggressively playing basketball in the street (not moving for cars). The complainers were called racist, even though everyone involved was black. Bizarre.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

They wear rouge when they play street basketball in Detroit? Now that IS tough.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

"9-1-1: What is your emergency?" "There are kids... Kids playing ball in the street!" "9-1-1: Stay on the phone! Officers are on their way! I need you to stay calm."


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

You be screaming call 911 if a kid got ran over


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

I occupied a whole lot of time in high school playing street basketball in Ypsilanti Township;s newly developed subdivision where my parents had just moved to. Not like there was much else to do but get into shenanigans.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Not like it is outlawed. Just don't play in the street.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

Hey, EyeHeartA2, who are "those people"?

E Claire

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

oh please, you know exactly what you meant with this post. You just don't like being called out for it


Sat, Jun 29, 2013 : 4:08 a.m.

EyeHeartA2, I see what you are referring to in a previous post...E Claire, where did I assume EyeHeart was a racist? I just asked what he/she meant? I have no idea what EyeHearts race is, and frankly don't care, the post makes more sense when referred back to an earlier response...nice though, thanks for letting me know that white people can jump, without you writing that, I'd never have known.

E Claire

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

If this were a story about Grosse Pointe and a poster mentioned "those people", would you assume he/she were being racist and referring to just one race or would you assume the poster just meant the group being written about? ps. do you know what race EyeHeart belongs to? pps. white people CAN jump


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Exactly. My point exactly as to what the OP was saying. - Obviously people whose only three choices in life are: Basketball, Guns or Drugs. Not on the list: Job Study Video Game Soccer etc. Not my list, and to be honest, I thought it was crappy, that's why I called him out on it.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

Ypsilanti has way bigger problems than kids playing ball in the street

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

Either one has bigger problems than pickup games of basketball. Being pedantic doesn't really change that fact.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Thanks, AdmiralMoose. I just love the way people seem to insist that Ypsi City and Ypsi Township are one and the same. They're not.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

Martha, please note that this is Ypsilanti Township, not the city. And I'm pretty sure that the township is capable of handling multiple problems of varying sizes at one time.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

This is ridiculous, plan and simple.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Sounds racist to me.....


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

Yeah, you don't hear about no crack down of golfers--we got some jerks who ride golf carts in the subs and the police seem to careless about it.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

@RUKiddingme; Ding, Ding, Ding - that IS correct.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

isn't implying this is racist racist?

Robert Granville

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

No doubt it will have a disparate impact on black youth, but on it's face it's more classist than racist.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

Why? What are you saying?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

I feel so safe.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

Well I tell you, running over some kid who was playing in the street would be a bummer even if the police say you were not at fault


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

Someone athletic enough to play basketball can certainly bicycle or walk to a playground.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

or maybe there is no place worth walking to.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

Just because you're athletic doesn't mean you're not lazy ...

Bruce W

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

The ones that watch for traffic are not the problem, but some won't get out of the street and let cars pass, I don't want to stop and wait till they will get out of the street so I can pass by them. I don't watch basketball on TV and don't want to stop and watch it on the street, put the hoops up by the house in a driveway to keep kids safe.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Even if they don't have a driveway, there are parks-schools to play basketball, correct ? If not, that is the problem right there. Folks seem to rather pay for jails then social programs

Robert Granville

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Everyone has a house with driveway in Ypsilanti.... Right?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

What did you give them to do in place of taking away their neighborhood bball? Guns? Drugs? I don't have a problem taking away something dangerous, as long as something safer and accessible replaces it. Otherwise, lets check crime until today versus crime from today on in that area. Maybe builders of new subs should provide some land for recreation. Bike path that connects to other bike paths, hoop area etc. Some would argue that gangs will then look for recruits at such places. We are adults, some supervision may be required. Oh, and some parenting!


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

Simple solution: move the basketball hoop a few feet into the drive-way or the backyard.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

And don't forget, the basketball choice is really basketball IN THE STREET. So it's guns, drugs, or basketball in the street.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

"What did you give them to do in place of taking away their neighborhood bball? Guns? Drugs?" Yep. guns, drugs or basketball. The only three choices those people have.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

If you manage to get hurt playing basketball in a subdivision, you might be the dumbest person in the world.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10:21 a.m.

Who do we call?


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.



Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.



Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10:56 a.m.

I ain' 'fraid 'o no hoops...


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10:46 a.m.



Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 10:46 a.m.