By Karen Billing
Carmel Valley resident Jack Atkinson, 15, has brought a simple, old-fashioned form of recreation to his neighborhood. The Santa Fe Christian freshman has strung up a tire swing in a tall tree in a grassy spot near his home on Sandshore Court.
One of the first days he put the swing up he went inside to get something from his home and came back out to find it swarmed.
“There were 30 kids on it, all having a blast,” Jack said. “The whole street loves it.”
Jack climbs up the tree to put the tire up daily and takes it down at night — he can shimmy up and down in a matter of minutes.
However, on days when he’s left the swing up longer, he’s run into some issues with the city. He came home one day to find a city employee holding a large tool to cut it down, but Jack was able to convince him not to. One weekend, he saw workers taking pictures of the swing.
The swing is, in fact, a violation of the Neighborhood Code Compliance. Per San Diego Municipal code, no object (structure, basketball hoop, etc.) is to be placed in the public right-of-way.
While he hasn’t received any official notice from the city, Jack worries that he may be forced to take the swing down for good.
Jack said he understands it could be a liability for the city and was thinking about putting up a sign that reads: “Ride at your own risk.”
“I’m just hoping I can talk to them and think of some kind of compromise to let us keep it up,” Atkinson said.