Email letters@comoxvalleyrecord.com

LETTER: Complaints on the courts leave neighbours in a pickle

Over the coming weeks and months many Peninsula communities will face increasing pressure to consider new or expanded pickleball facilities. While these decisions appear to be seemingly innocuous at first glance (outdoor sports for seniors, what could go wrong), a cursory review of experiences uncovers a very specific set of pickleball problems that most small, elected governments appear to be unable or unwilling to deal with.

Already, across the United States, and particularly in the state of California, pickleball has expanded at an incredible rate. This unprecedented growth, however, hasn’t come without controversy. From Berkeley to Punta Gorda, noise and player behaviour complaints have dominated media and local government public consultations. It’s clear from reporting on the issues that in their zest to support this emerging activity, elected officials were reticent to perform the necessary due diligence to understand its impacts and now appear to be equally reticent to do anything about it.

In our own community, the District of North Saanich, at immense cost to local taxpayers, rushed to implement a new pickleball court on Birch Road and despite claims to the contrary, did not appear to understand or appreciate how this new facility would impact residents. Since its implementation, noise and player behaviour complaints to bylaw enforcement and the RCMP have skyrocketed, and despite concerns raised, no concrete action to resolve complaints has been taken. North Saanich council recently pushed the issue off for further study.

Suggesting that noise and player behaviour complaints at a pickleball court requires further ‘study’ before action can be taken is no less ludicrous than suggesting that a house fire should be ‘reviewed’ before firefighters can extinguish the blaze. All anyone needs to do is stand 100 metres from the court on any given day and listen to what residents tolerate from sunup to sundown each and every day. The current circumstances are wholly unacceptable for residents and players alike, and are a blight on the character of our community.

There is a place for recreation in any community and that includes pickleball. With adequate study, including consideration for acoustical separation, parking and player behavioural regulation and oversight, pickleball can thrive without controversy. It should not, however, in any circumstance, come at the expense of residents or taxpayers.

Mike Houle

North Saanich

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