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One of the best times of year is the summer because it reminds me of being a kid at all of my friends’ birthday parties. There were always parties at people’s houses, but the best kinds were at the local park. You could run around and play on the swing sets while the parents grilled and chatted about whatever parents talk about. The one park party that really sticks out in my mind is the one that had an awesome castle-themed bounce house. We literally jumped on that thing for hours and hours and had an excellent time.
This kind of bounce house may be a distant memory for some kids however, as one area in California is looking to ban them from parks entirely. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the restrictions would save time and money:
“City staff say the jumpers, which range in shape from castles to pirate ships, wreak havoc on city lawns, take up staff time with hard-to-enforce, labor intensive permits and can make the parks less enjoyable for others.
“Our position is, yes, it would be great if we could continue to allow them, but like other municipalities we have made this decision from a liability point of view and staffing point of view,” said Barry Gordon, director of Arts, Recreation and Community Services for Walnut Creek. “It just no longer makes sense for us.”
In 2009, the city saw a huge increase of bounce houses springing up in city parks, helping spur a new policy requiring permits. Also, inflatables could be used only on non-turf areas.”
One of the major issues being pointed out by Walnut Creek officials is the cost of processing the permits necessary for such inflatables. The $40 charge just isn’t covering the overall finances necessary. Walnut Creek is not the first town in the area to ban inflatable bounce houses:
“Danville, Pleasanton and Clayton also don’t allow the bounce houses in their parks, according to a Walnut Creek staff report. Gordon points out that Concord and Lafayette still allow them.”