Ordinance could ban trampoline from woman's front yard
Litchfield Park tables issue after lots of questions
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 11, 2007 08:56 AM
The trampoline that has been in Litchfield Park resident Frankie Barton's front yard for 10 years could be outlawed if one City Council member gets her way.
Armed with insurance industry statistics testifying to the danger of trampolines, Councilwoman Marcie Ellis brought the issue to the council last week. The council was considering an ordinance amendment that would ban the trampoline from the front yard by making it a public nuisance.
As that issue was bounced around, it led to plenty of discussion, including private property rights, passing special legislation to affect one family, safety, aesthetics, liability and whether such an ordinance is a trip down a slippery slope.
Barton, who lives in the 400 block of East Fairway Drive, wanted to know why the council was so concerned about her front yard now after a decade.
"It's never been an issue," she said of her trampoline. "It's on private property."
She said the trampoline originally was in the backyard, but it bothers an elderly neighbor when jumped on, so it was moved to the front yard.
"I am the only person in this city that has a trampoline in the front yard," she said. "You're making one law just for me. I think you're discriminating against me."
Ellis said the trampoline came to her attention while walking door to door. She said neighbors complained.
"I am not against trampolines," Ellis said.
But the councilwoman said she was worried about it attracting children, and she called it a dangerous attractive nuisance.
"It's not against one person," Ellis said. "It's nothing personal."
Councilman Bob Musselwhite wondered if it was the government's place to protect people from themselves.
Musselwhite also noted the state Constitution prohibits special ordinances or legislation directed at one person or a small group.
Vice Mayor Paul Faith said the trampoline was more an issue of aesthetics. Faith decried the homeowners associations leaving Litchfield Park when the city incorporated, saying the city has been in decline ever since.
The council has been attempting to clean up the city, he said.
"There seems like there's a great compromise here," Faith said. "Move the damn trampoline in the backyard."
Councilman Paul Stucky wondered where such an argument for safety would end. With bicycles, in-line skates, skateboards or car-washing buckets? People could hurt themselves with these items, and he could find statistics to back that up, he said.
Stucky said if the issue is aesthetics, then the safety arguments don't apply, and it would be a code enforcement issue. But then that could become a slippery slope that could lead to the city dictating the type of flowers and trees allowed in a front yard.
"This is just one family with one trampoline," he said. "No one has ever been hurt on it according to the owners, and I don't think that's an issue the city should insert itself into."
Ellis, though, claimed that because the council had now discussed the safety of the trampoline and done nothing, the city would be liable if someone was hurt.
By tabling the proposed ordinance, the city can bring it back to the council.
Mayor Thomas Schoaf said the proposed ordinance has been sent back to the city attorney for more work, and it will likely come back to the council in a different form.
Now we need to mine two borders-CA/AZ and AZ/Mexico. Hey-CA folks, if you like the way it was where you came from, STAY THERE. Your busy body shit isn't welcome here. Get the fuck out and don't darken my great state again.
I burned more calories jumping on a trampoline when I was little than all other activities combined.
I'm sure if this bitch had her way kids would sit inside all day in front of the TV and turn into fat, lazy fucks...at least they would be safe...
I say if she's a double D, let her keep the trampoline.
I'll bring a lawn chair and a six pack and watch.
Girls on trampoline. The Man Show.
Ban trampolines. FOR THE CHILDREN!!
My homeowners policy has a hole section just for trampolines.
I asked my agent about guns, she said they don't care, I'm automatically covered up to $5k without any special issues, beyond that I need another rider, but I had to answer 9 questions about trampolines.
They couldn't care less if I have guns, ammo, powder, primers etc. But, If I put up a trampoline they will drop me.
Some folks just aren't complete unless they're meddling in the lives of others.