Huntington Mayor clarifies basketball hoop controversy

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ)-- UPDATE: 6/10/19 @11:59 p.m.
Overblown, exaggerated and a bit sensational.

The mayor said Monday night that kids just need to be respectful of their neighbors while adults should be understanding of kids at play.

That is Mayor Williams description of the social media swirl concerning basketball hoops on city streets in Huntington at Monday night's city council meeting.

WSAZ reported over the weekend, a few people in the Westmoreland neighborhood say they were upset after being told they have to take down their kid's basketball hoop.

However the city says they're only suggesting people move the base of the hoop up from the street onto their property and there won't be any strict code enforcement of the issue.

The mayor says kids just need to be respectful of their neighbors while adults should be understanding of kids at play.

Westmoreland residents are upset after being told they cannot have basketball hoops on streets.

"The basketball court rim was sitting at the end of my property and they didn't want the children playing in the street," said Faye Robertson, resident of Westmoreland.

Faye says she was forced to move her basketball hoop to her driveway.

"There was one that sat there for five years," said Faye. "Not a word said."

She says she received a letter from code enforcement that states:

"No person shall use the public streets, highways, alleys, thoroughfares, roads or avenues of the Municipality for the purpose of engaging in or playing any games or athletic activities, except public ways specifically set aside for such purposes."

The city spokesperson, Bryan Chambers says the bases of the hoops should be on private property. They are not asking to remove the hoops, they just want them scooted back on private property so there are no issues with obstructing traffic.

Chambers says as far as the code enforcement letter, they will use common sense when managing it.

"There are council members who are proposing to either adjust that or remove it entirely. They believe it is antiquated and burdensome," said Chambers.

Chambers also says the Mayor will not authorize enforcing it or issue any citations for the basketball hoops or children playing in streets. However, they do reserve the right to issue citations if someone is giving them trouble.

Chambers says the matter is expected to be discussed at the upcoming City Council meeting.