Homeowner ordered to remove basketball goal from street

INDIANAPOLIS - The City of Indianapolis has ordered a homeowner to remove a basketball goal he installed for the community to use and enjoy.

On any given summer evening, more than a dozen kids can be found playing sports in the south-side neighborhood near Southport Road and Sherman Drive.

For more than a decade, kids have flocked to the cul-de-sac to play mostly soccer and basketball with few complaints from neighbors. Michael Israel cemented a hoop on the street three years ago.

"All the neighborhood kids play here and we just figured it would be a lot better here than having four goals throughout the court," Israel said.

The fun was interrupted three weeks ago when a neighbor called the police to complain about the activity. Several residents suspect one neighbor in particular is responsible.

"We got a new neighbor catty-corner from us that moved in six months ago and I guess since it's been nice out he's seen all the kids out here and doesn't like it," one neighbor said.

That neighbor denied calling police, but said he is concerned about sporting equipment hitting vehicles that are parked along the street.

Last Friday, city officials put Israel on notice to remove the goal as soon as possible.

"They told us that we either had to remove the goal or they were going to come cut it down and remove it within 48 hours. It's going to eliminate the kids playing," Israel said. "They come here to play basketball. If you take that away from them... what else are they going to do?"

The goal is technically in a city right of way which is against local ordinances. City officials said they would look into any options the owner of the goal might have. 

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