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Real Estate & Property Law

How Is a Children’s Sandbox Different From a Planter? Seattle Forms Task Force to Mull Issue

Posted Aug 6, 2012 10:35 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Sandbox photo by Shutterstock.

Cited for putting a four-foot by eight-foot wooden sandbox too close to the street, a Seattle man fought back.

Some urged Paulo Nunes-Ueno simply to tell the city the sandbox was a wooden planter, since they are allowed and a neighbor's nearby planters look much the same, reports the Seattle Times.

However, he opted to address the issue directly and the result was an agreement by the city to hold the $500-per-day penalty in abeyance while an internal task force studies it.

While there is a legitimate safety concern about having children playing too close to traffic, eliminating the sandbox wouldn't necessarily eliminate the issue, noted City Councilmember Mike O'Brien.

"The safest place for the sandbox is in the backyard, but then you lose out on all the community building," he told the newspaper. "Planting strips are an underutilized space. There's a public-safety benefit when people on a street know each other and look out for each other."

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