The general growth of pickleball across North America has caused inevitable frictions with other sports (especially tennis) and in the case of North Saanich, residents near the courts concerned about noise as well as the lack of public consultation. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

The general growth of pickleball across North America has caused inevitable frictions with other sports (especially tennis) and in the case of North Saanich, residents near the courts concerned about noise as well as the lack of public consultation. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

North Saanich council won’t lock down pickleball courts before November

Discussion will be picked back up at a planning meeting in the fall

Municipal officials in North Saanich will wait until November to decide whether they will put locks on the pickleball courts on Wain Road, but at least one councillor remains open to the possibility.

Councillors voted unanimously on Monday to receive and refer a report detailing the costs of placing locks on the pickleball courts to a planning meeting in November. Council had commissioned that report after voting 4-2 to (with Couns. Heather Gartshore and Murray Weisenberger opposed) to investigate the costs of placing timed locks on the courts after Coun. Brett Smyth had pointed out courts remain in use beyond posted hours – exacerbating noise concerns.

According to the report, it would cost $6,000 to place timed locks on the courts in preventing users from accessing the courts before and after opening hours.

The growing popularity of the sport — especially but not exclusively among seniors — has led to heavy use of the courts in North Saanich, but also tensions with area neighbours concerned about noise and Monday’s decision means that the municipality won’t take any potentially divisive actions at least until November when council will review the issue again.

The courts are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. They used to be open from dawn to dusk before the municipality posted the new hours in response to noise concerns.

RELATED: North Saanich looks into locking up pickleball courts after hours

“I don’t want to minimize the concerns of the residents,” said Coun. Patricia Pearson. “I understand that the noise is an on-going frustration.” But council needs to stick to its course, she said. “If we want to be transparent and encourage peoples’ trust, we can’t be changing decisions or modifying them along the way.”

Pearson said council knew it was a possibility that the municipality would lack the means to enforce the hours in case users wouldn’t follow them. “I agree with the referral and we can look at other options at that time.”

Gartshore also acknowledged the need for “evasive action” in the future if it is “really problematic,” but also signalled skepticism about placing locks on courts to prevent players from using them after hours.

“How much beyond 6 p.m. are people staying?” she asked. “Or how much earlier than 8 a.m.? I don’t know. How problematic is it? I’m not prepared to spend $6,000 just to carry this on.”

This said, both Smyth and Gartshore agreed with a suggestion from the Saanich Peninsula Pickleball Association to improve the signage for the posted hours, a move formalized with a unanimous council vote.

Council also signalled intentions to improve the collection of impartial court usage data.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke hopes to start Church Road Corridor project this summer

Road upgrade includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes and boulevards

The site of the proposed rental housing development at 2197 Otter Point Rd. (District of Sooke)
District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

Traffic is backed up due to a crash on Highway 1. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Traffic backs up on Highway 1 westbound in View Royal after crash

First responders are reportedly on the scene in View Royal

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read