Whose hoops? Seattle Public Utilities calls foul on basketball equipment at water tower

July 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 29 Comments

The Charlestown water tower’s public property, and a fine place to hang out, says Seattle Public Utilities, but not to the point of putting up sports equipment. Here’s the warning they are posting today:

Seattle Public Utilities warning about basketball hoops at Charlestown water tower


(If you can’t see the document we embedded with Scribd, click here to open/download the original PDF from our server.) SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin says they hope word of this will get to the basketball hoops’ owner/s in time.

29 Comments

  1. These hoops Are Not impacting anyone negatively and certainly Are Not jeopardizing “safe space”.

    They are however giving kids and adults a positive and active community meeting place.

    Shame on you SPU!!! Don’t like the donated hoops? Put some permanent ones in instead. The community has spoken with these hoops, it would be a shame for you to take them away.

    Comment by Kip — 2:51 pm July 8, 2013 #

  2. Maybe it is not for sport, but instead more “guerrilla art”:)

    Comment by James — 3:02 pm July 8, 2013 #

  3. But @Kip who would get sued if one of these was knocked over, blown over, etc. and injured someone?

    Comment by WhatThe — 3:05 pm July 8, 2013 #

  4. hasn’t there always been a basketball hoop there?

    Comment by Diane — 3:09 pm July 8, 2013 #

  5. Yeah I thougt it was a little strange seeing those hoops at the water tank. It has always been city policy (for whatever reason) not to be able to even play on the grounds. Fifty years ago we got in trouble for playing a little baseball there. But back then there were signs prohibiting ball playing. I bet such signs are still there. It is not a park people. Sorry!

    Comment by Dhl — 3:18 pm July 8, 2013 #

  6. It seems like every 2nd or 3rd blog story elicits a “SHAME ON YOU” comment from someone. Are there really that many hideous things going on around here?

    Comment by Jim — 3:25 pm July 8, 2013 #

  7. I was by there a couple weeks ago and it looked to me like the hoops were dumped there rather than put up for playing ball. C’mon, who shoots hoops without a backboard?

    Comment by owen — 3:34 pm July 8, 2013 #

  8. This City never fails to amaze what they get wound up about. Have they noticed the Crown Vics that have been parked (abandoned) on California for the last ten years?

    Comment by SrslySharon — 3:52 pm July 8, 2013 #

  9. @WhatThe that’s why I suggested that SPU should install a permanent hoop structure…

    Comment by Kip — 3:53 pm July 8, 2013 #

  10. I hope the SPU is at least not laboring under the misapprehension that removal of the hoops would somehow be difficult…

    Comment by Tom R — 4:01 pm July 8, 2013 #

  11. It’s pretty obvious why SPU is removing them. Primarily, it is because that space is city property and they are liable for the activities happening on that property, regardless of whether they sanction them or not. It is also property owned by the SPU. It is not a park, and it is best to think of it as a light industrial zone in a residential neighborhood. Granted, our city does a pretty fine job of making them look like parks or donating surplus land to the actual parks department.

    Comment by JB — 4:21 pm July 8, 2013 #

  12. While a well intended idea – do we know what condition they’re in– are they safe- weighted properly? Who would be liable if someone was hurt playing BB there? The city (taxpayers) would. Can you really blame SPU for taking that into account?

    Comment by Gene — 4:21 pm July 8, 2013 #

  13. There is a set of rules for use of SPU “open space” – here’s the city policy shared with me when I followed up with SPU:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Open-Space-Rules.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 4:27 pm July 8, 2013 #

  14. I believe one was put there a few years back for neighborhood use, and now there are three – two looked to be dumped there (they are in awful shape)for free disposal, in my opinion.

    Liabilty is the key. The city can’t take that chance, which is why they discourage skateboarding as well. Wish they would pay that much attention on the 4th of July! That place turns into crazy town!

    Comment by Joey — 4:47 pm July 8, 2013 #

  15. Is this another example of the new Parks for us policy? Dakota Place Park is similar, no recreational facilities; i.e no Play equipment, basketball, not even a picnic bench. If you want to use the building it will cost you $225 for three hours and that’s a special price. Plus you have to pay a $25.00 booking fee, and $25.00/hr, for a staff fee. Oh, and you have to put down a security deposit. How is this different from a commercial use? As with the Charlestown water tower, we are being excluded from our parks without even a vote as to their use?!

    Comment by Trying! — 5:13 pm July 8, 2013 #

  16. Dakota Place is Seattle Parks property, but the Charlestown water tower area isn’t a park – unlike, for example, the Seattle Parks facility adjacent to the Myrtle water tower. This is 100 percent Seattle Public Utilities land that includes some open space, and the rules/ultimate purpose are different.

    Comment by WSB — 5:28 pm July 8, 2013 #

  17. “Maybe it is not for sport, but instead more “guerrilla art”:)”

    Seriously, call it a 1st Amendment issue. That will tie up the City Attorneys Office til the rains start. We had to have campers on SCCC ground for months because of that. The City wanted nothing to do with it.

    And SrslySharon, if you want the Crown Vics removed, post signs around them challenging/taunting the City’s authority to remove them.

    Comment by CandrewB — 5:51 pm July 8, 2013 #

  18. Yeah, I’d thought this was short-sighted (Thinking it was the water tank much further south) but after getting more details, yeah, maybe not such a good idea for B-Ball in a place not designed for it. There is some utility equipment, with varied surfaces, and if someone got injured, the City would be sued. Anyone who doesn’t think so ought to chime in.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:06 pm July 8, 2013 #

  19. @SrslySharon
    Hopefully these things will be gone soon. I’m going to start calling the city, tired of them blocking my view to California when turning left.

    Comment by clinker — 6:35 pm July 8, 2013 #

  20. I appreciate SPU’s approach to a calm resolution. The Parks Department extended the same response to the “guerrilla art” at Alki.

    Want a basketball court? Petition for it. Community can be a force.

    Comment by shed22 — 7:16 pm July 8, 2013 #

  21. My nephew was on one of the championship teams in the Spokane Hoopfest featured on WSB and probably learned most of his Bball skillz playing on these hoops. I agree three hoops is excessive, but these types of hoops are found in numerous culdesacs in the suburbs that are placed out on city streets. Heck, my hoop growing up was mounted in a tire filled with cement and it would fall over on you just about every time someone dunked. Really though, the hoops are portable so they will just be moved back and forth when neighbors want their kids to play. SPU should just put up a hoop. In fact I know where some unused publicly owned hoops are! At the sewer transfer station on Alki Point there are hoops next to the building which is enclosed by a fence.

    Comment by ruse — 7:29 pm July 8, 2013 #

  22. JB is right on folks.

    Comment by Dhl — 8:27 pm July 8, 2013 #

  23. I’ll haul ‘em away…if there still there by this weekend, I’ll take the abandoned scrap metal.

    Comment by M. — 8:55 pm July 8, 2013 #

  24. Srsly and clinker.. He has some on Bradford too. I’ve been reporting this guy for at least 5 years. He just scrapes the orange sticker off when he gets one. I think the city knows he has more than he can drive and they don’t appear to get driven based on the dust they accumulate. But they can’t catch him I guess. It is not right that he uses public parking spaces to store his personal property. Maybe if you two and me, and anyone else who wants to, reports this guy, something will get done.

    Comment by Residents — 9:06 pm July 8, 2013 #

  25. I was thinking of bringing a sofa over to the water tower — seems to me there needs to be a sofa. And I also have an old badminton set — the net is torn and there’s only one racket, but…

    Comment by buddy — 10:45 pm July 8, 2013 #

  26. @buddy — lol

    Comment by LivesInWS — 11:59 pm July 8, 2013 #

  27. @srsly…when we lived on Delridge, we dealt with quite a few abandoned cars. They were always dealt with within a day or two of reporting them to the city.

    Comment by AHNeighbor — 7:54 am July 9, 2013 #

  28. To follow the Crown Vic offshoot, they’ve been there for YEARS (literally, NOT figuratively) does anyone know what the deal is?

    Comment by NicMarie — 10:18 am July 9, 2013 #

  29. He is a “car rancher” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=car%20rancher
    .
    He shuffles them around when they get stickered to move or be towed.
    .
    The best you can do is make his life harder by reporting his cars constantly and making them move more often. But, I dont think it is illegal.
    .
    The time I got an eyeful of him doing the car shuffle, his appearance suggested he has nothing but time to do this daily.

    Comment by MellyMel — 9:02 pm July 9, 2013 #

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