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  • By Lisa Brody

Basketball hoops, play structures in back yards

An ordinance to permit basketball hoops and play structures in back yards was unanimously approved by Bloomfield Township trustees on Monday, June 22. Previously, residents had to apply to the zoning board of appeals in order to install basketball hoops and play structures, as they were considered accessory structures. “Over the last 10 years, we saw the majority of these structures were reviewed and approved,” said Patti Voelker, director of planning, building and ordinance. She noted that in researching the ordinance, neighboring municipalities such as Birmingham, Novi, West Bloomfield, Northville and Farmington Hills permit them. The new ordinance requires basketball hoops, either garage-mounted or with a pole, to be no more than 14-feet in height, contiguous to the driveway, no more than one per home, and if located in the rear yard, have a setback 16-feet from side and rear lot lines. For play structures, they are only permitted in the rear yard, they cannot exceed 14-feet in overall height, must use neutral earth tone colors for any shade canopies, and have a setback minimum of 16-feet from side and rear lot lines. Sport courts are not permitted under the ordinance. “Sports equipment or play toys, such as sports nets and trampolines, are considered temporary in nature due to their ability to be portable and their placement on the ground is without permanent footings or foundations. Portable play items are not regulated,” Voelker said.

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