Family's swing set at center of zoning controversy
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
A swing set is at the center of a controversy.
The city said the owner must move it because it's currently violating a zoning law.
Christopher Clark said he bought this swing set for his kids to have fun but all it has caused is a headache.
"They won't have nothing to do because none of the other kids have a swing set," Clark said.
Now the fun has hit a halting stop, frustrating the owner and his family.
"I don't see why you would have such a no-nonsense rule, it doesn't make sense at all," Clark said.
It started back in September with a complaint about the family's swing set.
That complaint led to a letter, which said the placement of the swing set in the front yard violated a zoning law.
"In the front yard, it's pretty restrictive because you want to keep the aesthetics of the neighborhood and the safety. So in a front yard, you can have a driveway leading into a garage and you can have a porch. The porch can sit in your front yard and that's about it," City Zoning Administrator Matthew McLaughlin said.
The city said if the family wants to keep the playground where it currently is, they will have to file a reason why they want to keep it there. After that, the planning and zoning committee will have to look at it and the city council will vote on it
"You could always apply for a variance. To vary the ordinance to allow playground equipment in the front yard and that would have to go before planning and zoning and city council," McLaughlin said.
Clark said that moving it to the backyard will make it difficult due to tree roots.
"Tree roots are bad, they stick up out of the ground, almost two inches in certain spots. Unless you're an adult with good footing, you're going to trip over them, it's unavoidable," Clark said.
While he searches for answers as to why someone would complain about the swing set in the first place.
"Yeah, I don't see what the, it isn't hurting anybody. It isn't hurting your finances and it isn't offending you. It's on my property so why are you worried about it," Clark said.
Now the city said the first notification went out to the family in September. The second went to them in October and this is the final notification before they will be forced to take it out of their yard.