Pickleball might be the fastest-growing sport in the United States, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan. In particular, those who live near crowded pickleball courts aren’t always eager to see more people pick up the paddles.
An example? In Lake Oswego, an Oregon city about eight miles from Portland, neighbors of George Rogers Park has long complained about the noise coming from the park’s pickleball court. As ABC news channel KATU 2 reports, the neighbors are especially irritated by the “whack, whack, whack” noise as players hit the ball back and forth.
KATU reported that one attendee at a recent Lake Oswego city council meeting said that this noise was both “physically and emotionally” harmful to neighbors who live as close as 42 feet from the park’s pickleball courts.
In response, members of the city council voted this week to close the George Rogers pickleball courts and convert them into tennis courts. The sound of a tennis ball bouncing back and forth isn’t quite as loud as that pickleball “whack.”
Not everyone who attended the council meeting was happy with this decision. According to KATU, one attendee said that people who live by a city park should not be surprised when that park generates noise. The same speaker told the council that these homeowners should not be allowed to demand that such park activities be eliminated.
The council meeting followed several months of complaints from neighbors. The city of Lake Oswego had considered other solutions, such as adding court covers designed to reduce pickleball noise or opening courts at a new location. The council members determined that noise-reduction efforts would either cost too much or would not work.
There is hope for nearby pickleball fans, though. KATU reported that Lake Oswego city officials are considering whether to turn the courts at a different city park, Westlake Park, into pickleball courts. City officials said that they are waiting to receive input from community members before finalizing this decision.
What is clear, though, is that this will not be the last time neighbors and pickleball players clash over the noise. There have also been battles between park users and pickleball players, including this clash that led to the closure of pickleball courts in a New York City park.
And, as this story shows, there is still plenty of tension between players who prefer old-school tennis courts and those who are eager for more pickleball courts in their local parks.
Don’t miss our video below showcasing these community fights.
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