Letter: The pickleball predicament

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Fans of pickleball made some “noise” at the Oct. 24 City Council Meeting as about 25 players, young and old, arrived with paddles in hand to fight for their favorite court. An adorable young player earnestly told council how much he loved pickleball at Lang Park. The rest of the players’ arguments were about how much “fun” pickleball is and the social community it creates to “make friends and bring people together.” 

But what about the neighbors’ right to peace and quiet in their homes, which are just 25 feet away?

Seniors at Vista Aliso Senior Community have been complaining for years about the noise pickleball creates, and many are stressed. At the meeting, residents presented signed petitions asking that the courts be closed, moved to another location or converted back to tennis.

In a previous council meeting, the mayor was honest enough to admit the council’s mistake of allowing pickleball so close to a residential community. The council voted to try sound mitigation measures before seeking a “permanent solution.” That was a year ago, and it was recently determined that AcoustiFence was ineffective. 

The mayor and council member George Weiss supported stopping the noise and putting residents’ rights to a peaceful living environment first. The rest wanted to try additional mitigation measures to please the boisterous pickleball community.

The council had a tough decision to make. After an hour of intense pressure and discussion, a vote was taken with these results:

1. Convert another tennis court at Alta to Pickleball and re-convert these back to tennis within 90 days. Meanwhile, look at Moulton Meadows as another option.

2. Research the possibility of using quiet balls and “green” paddles.

3. Look at building pickleball courts at the north-end of Lang Park. That might mean the next item on the agenda may be soccer moms versus pickleball. 

(I’ve spoken to the dog group who visit Lang each morning, and they said the courts wouldn’t be a problem.)

The council’s plan was to find a solution acceptable to the players and residents, and moving the courts is the best option. 

For the senior residents of Vista Aliso, this was a “win” with one negative consequence: We have to live through two or three more months of noise. This decision only prolongs our anxiety until the city can find a way to shorten the time allotted.

For tennis players, it’s a win-win! They have lost many courts to the demand for pickleball, and having their original court back at Lang feels like justice. 

For pickleball fans, they’ll have more courts away from residences to enjoy making noise without disturbing them.

Susana Cruciana, Laguna Beach

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1 COMMENT

  1. You bought next to a park, you have no right to complain that the park is being used. You buy next to an airport you can’t complain about airplanes. Physical activity benefits out weigh the noise at the park

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