Sorry Kids, the Rink Has to Go
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis man must remove the ice rink he built in his front yard despite some neighbors saying it creates a sense of community for children to play.
The Minneapolis Zoning Board of Adjustment rejected Phil Malkerson's appeal Thursday for a variance to keep the hockey rink.
Malkerson installed the rink for his children in the front yard because it wouldn't fit in the backyard, but a neighbor complained it was an eyesore. City officials informed Malkerson the rink was too close to his lot line and that he had to either remove it or obtain a variance.
Malkerson offered to make compromises with the rink to gain the variance. He said he'd make the wooden boards around the rink a uniform height and paint them white to blend in with the snow. He also said he'd only leave the rink up from Nov. 15 to April 15.
Some neighbors argued in favor of Malkerson's rink, saying the public ice rink about a mile away is too far for young children to go to alone.
"It hearkens back to my childhood," said Scott Schroepfer, who lives nearby. "I think it's fabulous."
Neighbor Rob Salmon supported the zoning board's decision. He said the rink violated zoning codes that aim to preserve the integrity and aesthetics of a neighborhood.
"We have laws," Salmon said. "And we should follow the laws."
Salmon suggested that Malkerson build a smaller rink in his backyard next year, but Malkerson said a backyard rink would be "worthless" because of its small size.