Should sand be banned?
A sandbox in a Seattle parking strip draws neighborhood children but also a threat of a $500-a-day fine. City officials are reconsidering their stance.
A streetside sandbox in Seattle has started a debate.
Should the city allow sandboxes and perhaps other play structures in the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street? Or should those structures continue to be barred?
The issue came to light when Paulo Nunes-Ueno moved to a neighborhood in northwestern Seattle and brought along the 8-by-4-foot wooden sandbox he had built for his 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
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The box was instantly popular with the neighborhood children, but not so popular with the city, which threatened the family with a $500-a-day fine if the structure was not removed from what is known in Seattle as the planting strip. You can see the sandbox here.
"I told them this is a silly rule. We should be encouraging neighbors to get together and children to play outside," Nunes-Ueno told The Seattle Times.
The narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the street has different names in different regions; we call it the swale in Florida, where it sometimes serves as a water runoff area. Usually, while it appears to be part of your yard and you are expected to mow and maintain it, the city or county truly owns it and can make rules about what you can and cannot do with the space.
While some cities prohibit any plantings in the area, other cities – such as Seattle – have guidelines on how and what to plant in the parking strip. A planter box, which looks a lot like a sandbox, is allowed in Seattle.
Rather than fine the Nunes-Ueno family, the city of Seattle decided to take a closer look at the issue and evaluate whether a sandbox in the parking strip should be allowed.
One of the issues in the Seattle sandbox case is whether children should be encouraged to play so close to the street. On the other hand, creating a children's play space in the front yard is creating a sense of community, the neighbors say.
"The safest place for the sandbox is in the backyard, but then you lose out on all the community-building," City Councilman Mike O'Brien told The Seattle Times. "There's a public-safety benefit when people on a street know each other and look out for each other."
Just leave the sandbox where it is, Paulo.
Just yesterday a 100 year old backed over a bunch of kids
7/26--Drunk driver plows in to crowd at 7 Eleven
This won't happen to your family Paulo. But if it does. . . You have no one to blame but yourself.
Just another liberal who thinks rules and laws don't apply to them! There are reasons for those rules. All it takes is for one idiot in a car to come down that road and lose control for some reason...any reason, plow into that box, and you have dead kids. Or for one minute an adult to be distracted and not be watching, and as close as that thing is to the road...a kid wanders away for a split second and splat...kid and car occupy the same place at the same time...kid loses!
He can move it up into his FRONT lawn, and have the same effect on the neighborhood, and yet be sure those kids are safe. Sorry buddy...but if you don't like the rules of safety put there for you and your family...then move to a rural area where you don't have the traffic and the space is more open!
Oh...and that particular strip where you placed the sandbox? Actually that is CITY OWNED land. Your property ends at the sidewalk in that area. By covenance you are required to keep up the grass strip between the road and the sidewalk, but it is the property of the city to be used if needed for road widening purposes.
Whats this country coming too. Every day we loose a little bit of our Liberty with stupid laws which have Hidden agendas to benefit cities and state, not the publics interest! We all need to come together ,Neighbors and the community. We cannot depend on the police, they have gotten out of control. The first day of 1st grade for my grand Neice she was sent home because she had a sun dress with spagetti straps. It was 90 Degrees here in So. CAL. There dress code allows a minnimum 2" wide strap. A six year old !! Whats wrong with this picture My Daughters Midddle school, there not allowed to have any physical contact. You hold hands , you get suspended!
Here we call them park ways. But there seperated from your property with a side walk. People would put there trash cans on them and then the city passed a law that they had to be in the street against the curb. So No parking space.The fine is pretty large. I say screw the city and leave the sand box and bring there community toghter!.
Way too close to the street for children to be playing! During the video, there were children all over the place,NOT just in the box.
Children get run over all the time because they see something and just dart into the street. This happens when he child's hand is being held by the adult. They just let go, and run into the street! Children, espcially ones this small, lose focus on everything but what they are imagining at the time. They certainly aren't focused on cars!
This is a NO GO!!!!!!!
If the city is going to capitulate, they should be willing to accept the responsibility when a child gets hurt or killed (and you can bet they will). There should at least be a fence around it. The city would be as liable for injury as they would with playground equipment in city parks. There are very strict codes about clearances and fencing when traffic can be an issue.
On another note, sandboxes have a nasty habit of turning into kitty litter boxes. I worked in park maintenance and had to constantly have my crews rake out sand boxes for sanitary reasons. This is why a lot of parks are going to alternatives to sand as ground safety cover (rubber wood chips and rubber mats etc.) Do you really want your kids playing in the neighbors cats poo?
No support here either. Small children next to a street is asking for disaster. All it would take is one child running out from behind a parked car blocking an on coming drivers view. And that happens all to often already.
If it were on my street I would be very, very opposed to it being there.
Now if it was enclosed with a safe entrance and exit things might be different.
That strip between the sidewalk and the street is and always has been city property. Sure, we have to mow it, but ffs, everyone knows you can't put structures there w/o city permission. And what adle brained moron would WANT children playing THAT close to the street????
Asshat just didn't want his grass ruined is what that's all about!
Sorry but this guy gets no support from me. This is a recipe for disaster. Sure people driving on the street may slow down when they see an adult standing out there but what about when the adults are not there? Like when they run inside to grab some water, a band aid, or check on dinner's progress. What about when the owners are not home and other children wander over to play unsupervised? Consider what might happen if someone decides to park along the street there and they are not an experienced parallel parker. Think about what a great gathering place for the unregistered sex offenders in the area this creates. A little common sense could go a long way here. Invite your neighbors over for a potluck once in awhile Paolo and move the sandbox to the back yard where there will be less likelihood of a car colliding with an innocent child.
And now that this situation has gone global good luck in keeping the gawkers and pedophiles away. Your street is now more dangerous than ever.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.