A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Portable hoops: Code change is for them

Written September 12th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

This hoop on Willetta Street is set up the way the proposed code says it should be, on the planter strip.

If you or your kids have a portable baskeball hoop on your street, you may be interested in a proposed new Albany law that says where these hoops should and should not be placed.

The subject of portable hoops in the streets came up nearly two years ago, in November 2020.  Kris Schendel, the code compliance officer attached to the Albany Police Department, told the city council then that he was working on an amendment to the city code.

Now the new code language is ready, part of a consolidation of many different provisions all relating to “community livability.” Schendel went through them all at the council’s work session Monday.

The council will be asked to adopt the changes later.

As for portable hoops in the public right of way, the proposed ordinance says they “shall not be placed upon any street, sidewalk, or bike lane.”

Instead, it says, they should be placed in the owner’s driveway or, if the driveway is not suitable, they may be placed in the planter strip between street and sidewalk.

There are other provisions, all of them kind of common sense. Hoops should be at least 10 feet up and should not impede traffic, for instannce, and players in the street must yield if a vehicle comes along.

Most of the hoops I’ve seen lately don’t bother anyone and don’t interfere with anything, so they should be all right when this new language becomes law.

Councilwoman Marilyn Smith said she was glad the code change was coming. In her south Albany neighborhood, she had seen three portable hoops sitting on the sidewalk, making it hard or impossible for people in wheelchairs or pushing baby strollers to get past.

The draft of the ordinance acknowledges that shooting baskets is a good thing. The section on portable hoops is being added, it says, “to provide lawful recreation throughout city neighborhoods.” (hh)

The story has been edited to substitute a better illustration.

13 responses to “Portable hoops: Code change is for them”

  1. TLH-ALB 1 says:

    You want to draft something, how ‘bout ya draft an ordinance to fix the damn streets!!! Portable hoops are the least of Albany’s woes.

  2. Al Nyman says:

    Obviously you are not a basketball player Hasso. The only way these portable hoops work are if they are on the street as a drive way is not level and the grass area will cause the basketball to go anywhere when it hits the ground. Getting kids away from the electronic device should be the most important thing the city can do or perhaps you haven’t noticed the level of obesity in kids such as my grand kids.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      With the thing sitting on the planter strip, the board and the basket itself should be over the pavement. So, no problem with the ball hitting the grass unless you miss the board entirely.

  3. Bev Dougherty says:

    Mr Hering
    I hope you will look at the community center which was the former senior center it seems to me the senior center was usurped during the critical pandemic days when seniors we home trying to avoid Covid
    Once those folks were able to be out and about the found they no longer had a center when the building doors were finally opened the pool table gift shop long sewing tables coffee nook piano were all gone Suddenly the parks & rec had left their dinky office behind and were in command of the offices of senior operations
    This building used to be full of classes seniors enjoying social activities hobbies etc

    Please consider this overstep by the city which now has seniors homeless and a empty building except for the parks & rec employees that is

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    “The subject of portable hoops in the streets came up nearly two years ago, in November 2020. Kris Schendel, the code compliance officer attached to the Albany Police Department, told the city council then that he was working on an amendment to the city code.”

    Such speed is amazing! Only 2 years? It sure doesn’t take the City Council that long to impose/raise fees. (SALES TAX RAY!)

  5. Tina says:

    Is there not anything more Pertinent, and at the very least more Pressing, than a Portable Basketball Hoop Ordinance?! Come on!

    Homeless camps
    Lack of Services and Resources for the Homeless
    Sky Rocketing Rents
    Lack of Affordable Housing
    Infrastructure and street improvements
    There are a million other things to be spending time and money on!

    • centrist says:

      Your list is cogent, but beyond the scope of code compliance.
      What’s missing is a viable strategy that provides a solution to the problems named. We haven’t seen that at any level of government yet.
      My background is chemical process manufacturing. I do not have either talent or skill to devise a strategy, but I’ll certainly help make one executable.

  6. Ron Green says:

    Hindering traffic is a good thing. Any time people can take the street back from cars and slow ‘em down is a good time.

    • Abe Cee says:

      Then we should go back to gravel one lane roads. Then everyone would be happy, right? Slow cars, limited driving space for you and your fellow believers while leaving no place to play basketball or other street games for the other “side”. Sounds like a great idea.

      Side note: a street really shouldn’t be for playing anyway, that’s what a yard is for. You don’t want people driving in your yard do you?

  7. mike says:

    If the root cause for this code to be introduced is that some portable hoops are blocking sidewalks or bike lanes, why not make it more generic such as “personal property cannot be placed such that it obstructs sidewalks and bike paths.” In fact, one would think this is already a rule in the municipal code? I suppose this is just to codify the specifics with regards to basketball hoops even if the generic case of obstructing the right of way is already stated elsewhere.

    I don’t have a portable basketball hoop but my neighbors have one in the street. Doesn’t bother me, hinder traffic flow, and there’s space to park on either side of it. That said, if this does become part of code, they could relatively easily move it off the street and on the front edge of their lawn.

  8. old timer says:

    Back in the day, we all had basketball hoops. Mounted to the roof over or right on the wall of the house where the playing surface was the driveway. Not everything that was done in the “old days” was wrong…. playing basket ball when cars are parked on the street puts kids in danger and allows errant ball control to damage cars which are no longer repaintable for a few hundred bucks but closer to 4000 bucks.
    Playing in the street used to be the thing you DIDN’T want your kids doing… simpler times, simpler solutions without government intervention….

  9. centrist says:

    Outdoor childhood sports.
    Bball didn’t get much attention. Winters too cold, summers insufferably hot and humid.
    Spring was stickball, generally played in an intersection. Bases were the corners. Mound was the manhole cover in the center of the intersection.
    Fall was football (sort of) played in the concrete alley-way behind the 1/8th mile long row-houses .
    Tag and hide-and-seek played pretty much anywhere.
    Had a brief fling with hockey on roller skates (clampons) in the street. Sticks made from scraps, goal was a box, puck was a wooden disc wrapped in electrical tape.

  10. Sooz says:

    Curious how is this going to be enforced?


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