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Stittsville residents seeking answers as bylaw cracks down on street basketball nets

Stittsville residents on Kearnsley Way are seeking answers after an unusual bylaw crackdown on Friday.

Every home on the street with a basketball net received a ticket instructing homeowners to remove their nets from the road.

According to the City of Ottawa, the Use and Care of Roads bylaw prohibits people from leaving basketball or hockey nets on the road or on the city’s right-of-way.

Resident Christopher Wray takes objection to his ticket. He says the half-dozen nets on Kearnsley Way sit on the lawn, allowing kids to shoot the ball from the road.

“Obviously, it’s not on the roadway,” he said. “It does overhang by maybe a few inches.”

Wray was issued a ticket by a bylaw officer Friday morning. He was told it was the street’s garbage collection company Miller Waste Systems that made the complaint.

“If you’re a professional truck driver and you can’t drive a truck around that,” said Wray, gesturing to his basketball net, “I think something needs to be asked in terms of questions.”

There was no fine included with the ticket, but for parents who struggle to get their kids outdoors, it has not stopped them from feeling frustrated.

“I’d like for my son to be able to come outside and play basketball without having to play with the curb right underneath the net,” said Emily Johnson, another resident.

“Lots of kids around here enjoy being outside and playing – to me, this is really unfortunate.”

Homeowners with basketball nets on neighbouring streets told CTV News on Sunday they have not received any tickets for their nets hanging over the road.

Residents on neighbouring streets say they have not faced tickets for their basketball nets hanging over the road. May 19, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)

Rob Lafleur suspects the mass ticketing on Kearnsley Way stemmed from a complaint he made to the city a few weeks ago.

“When I came home from work, I noticed our net was crooked,” he said. “When I looked at our doorbell camera, I noticed that it was hit by the waste management company for our street.”

Lafleur says he feels the ensuing back-and-forth between himself, the city, bylaw and Miller Waste Systems escalated to a retaliatory complaint to bylaw from the waste management company.

“It’s just kind of steamrolled into something that probably shouldn’t have gotten to this point and I think it was handled in bad taste,” Lafleur said.

With minimal instruction from bylaw, Kearnsley Way residents feel they are left with no solutions.

“I’d just like to be told where I can put this and my son can play basketball without having to move a 400-pound net every single day for a garbage man who come 30 seconds a week,” said Wray.

Miller Waste Systems did not respond to requests for comment.

CTV News also reached out to Stittsville ward councillor Glen Gower, but did not receive a response in time for deadline.

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