The City of Seattle is taking a closer look at its current policy that dictates where you can put a child's sandbox or any type of play structure near your front sidewalk or street.
Although a potted planter is allowed – it is a violation of city rules to have a sandbox, where kids are playing, too close to the street.
When Paulo Nunes-Ueno built a sandbox, for his 5-year-old daughter, Twila, and 2-year-old son, Gustavo, it was an instant hit with the kids - and the entire neighborhood.
“People will start coming out and playing. We’re meeting new neighbors when their kids want to play, then it turns out we’ll end up putting something on the barbecue, it'll turn into a dinner party," said Nunes-Ueno
His neighbor, Mark Atkins, agrees.
“It's been a great addition, brought neighborhood together," he said.
But Paulo had no idea that the new neighborhood gathering "hot spot" would put him in the "hot seat" with the City of Seattle.
“We got a letter saying this was not legal, I had to move it, or pay $500 a day," he said.
Even though Paulo placed the sandbox on his own driveway, he'd been told he violated city rules about "play structures" being too close to the city street.
He spoke to the city, and just yesterday found out he could temporarily keep it in place, while the city takes a closer look at its policy.
“I think it's really important for people to care about this stuff, to weigh in now because the city is really reconsidering it," said Paulo.
Paulo and his neighbors are hopeful the sandbox will remain a permanent meeting and greeting fixture, in this Green Lake community.
Paulo will be asking folks to sign his "Save our Sandbox " petition, which he plans to take to the city council on August 14.