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District in a pickle over sport

Coldstream officials are trying to find middle ground between a neighbourhood and enthusiasts of a fast-growing sport.

Council voted Monday to restrict when pickleball can be played at the tennis courts on Mt. Ida Drive because of neighbours’ protests over noise and traffic.

“It’s a difficult issue because whose rights trump the other’s?” said Coun. Gyula Kiss.

“I’m not sure how we resolve the issue.”

For the remainder of the season, pickleball can only be played at the courts Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The goal is to try and provide adjacent residents with some relief.

“There’s a loud ping or pop noise when the paddle hits the ball. It can be heard inside the home when the windows and doors are shut,” said Derek Watson, who spoke on behalf of some residents.

Watson says the constant noise has led to migraine headaches and anxiety for his wife.

“We are expelled from our home when pickleball is being played. Please give me back my life,” he said.

On a trial basis, the Vernon Pickleball Club has been holding scheduled games Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

But the primary challenge appears to be from people playing games after-hours.

“They’re coming Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings,” said Gail Watson.

“That thunk, thunk, thunk gets into the house.”

Council also heard from a member of the Vernon Pickleball Club.

“It does make a noise but we play it and we don’t want to damage our ears. I don’t know if it’s that significant,” said Gerry Forcier, who lives near the courts.

“We want to be respectful of the neighbours and we’re grateful we can use it there. We don’t want to annoy people. We will do what we can.”

Coun. Richard Enns is urging the pickleball association to take the neighbours’ complaints seriously.

“I hope they will come forward with proposals to resolve the concerns,” he said.

Coldstream municipal staff has been asked to report back on possible locations to a stand-alone pickleball facility and the potential costs.

 

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