• Neighborhood spat causes Peabody City Council to consider ban on street games


    PEABODY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A neighborhood spat could soon change street sports policy in Peabody.

    The city council there is considering sidelining street hockey and basketball. Basketball and hockey nets are common sights in neighborhoods all around Boston, but in Peabody it seems some neighbors won't play ball.

    "There were a couple of neighbors that were having a dispute over basketball hoops being in front of their property," Dave Gravel, councilor at large said.

    A resident of Tara Road even put up no trespassing signs, and now a war of words between neighbors may lead to a new ordinance. This specific resident, who did not want to be interviewed, is not happy about a ball bouncing on her property if kids miss the net, resident Charles Kirby said.

    Gravel got involved because he believes that this resident has legitimate concerns. Gravel told FOX 25 that she said the balls were hitting her car and house, and doing damage to her property. That neighbor’s complaint is now a dispute and could soon get police involved. Gravel proposed an ordinance to restrict leaving nets permanently in place.

    The issue is hoop nets and hockey nets can be a nuisance or even a safety issue in the street. The town is now contemplating making it illegal to drag them into the street and just leave them there. Some nets are portable while others are cemented in.

    Residents have mixed views about the situation.

    "Yeah, everyone will suffer," Resident Patrick Sullivan said.

    He thinks the kids should be allowed to play.

    "You gotta get the kids outside instead of inside on the computer. I’d rather have them outside shooting hoops," he said.

    But another resident disagrees, saying they're a hazard for drivers.

    "They stick too far out and it's dangerous because the kids were playing," a resident said.

    The proposal still needs to pass two committee hurdles, but if it does the Peabody City Council will vote, the goal to mediate a dispute that's no longer fun and games.

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