Punta Gorda considers playground equipment restrictions

Published: Updated:

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- As complaints about toys on the front lawns of homes pile in to the City of Punta Gorda, officials must decide whether or not to prohibit them.

“I think generally speaking, trampolines and playground equipment don’t belong in front yards,” said Joseph Rutigliano.

Residents are currently allowed to place toys, such as trampolines and basketball hoops, wherever they’d like on their property. But a recent Facebook post could prove to be influential in having city leaders change the rules.

“Since we generated the question, that’s gotten people on both sides of the issue to voice their opinions,” said Howard Kunik, Punta Gorda city manager. “Maybe we want to restrict the types of equipment that may show up in front yard, or size of the equipment that may show up.”

A home in Punta Gorda Isles with a trampoline on the front lawn is generating buzz among other homeowners who say the sight is making their property values plummet.

“Imagine every house with a gymnasium, monkey bars, a sliding board and just keep on going and tell me what the difference in property value would be,” Rutigliano said.

“They are shoddy-looking,” said Douglas Derwin, “it’s too nice around here to be turning this bad.

However, people are on the fence about complaints regarding basketball hoops.

“Basketball type of equipment always goes in the front yard. Growing up, that’s all we did is play in the front yard, basketball,” Kunik said. “Playground equipment, now that’s a different story.”

“Next door they’ve got a basketball hoop, and the kid sits out there and plays for an hour at night. Sometimes his friends come over, not hurting a thing, not bothering anybody,” Derwin added.

On Wednesday, the city plans to discuss playground equipment on front lawns at the council meeting. Punta Gorda officials will discuss whether to enforce new rules in Punta Gorda Isles, Burnt Store, and Burnt Store Meadows.


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