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Pickleballers Unite and Rebel in San Francisco Neighborhood Dispute

by Jason Flamm on

Stop us if you've heard this before.

Residents of an affluent neighborhood complain about the noise from pickleball courts, so courts are taken down or converted back into tennis courts.

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Yep. It's a consistent problem faced by pickleballers across the country. This time, it's back to an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, which has been the site of an ongoing feud between residents, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Tennis Only” Sign Sparks Outrage and Rebellion

In San Francisco's Presidio Wall neighborhood, tensions are flaring over pickleball court usage as players protest restrictions imposed by the Recreation and Parks Department. The department's decision to designate two courts for tennis only sparked outrage among pickleball enthusiasts, who responded with acts of civil disobedience, setting up nets on the courts in defiance.

The conflict stems from complaints by wealthy residents, including Holly Peterson, who argued that pickleball noise disrupts property values and residents' well-being. Despite broader community support for pickleball, concerns about noise prompted calls for a halt to the sport until an environmental study is completed.

An Outside Firm Provides Evidence

An acoustics firm hired by Peterson confirms noise levels but intensifies the debate over court usage. The Recreation and Parks Department's subsequent decision to convert six pickleball courts back to tennis courts ignited further outrage among pickleball players, underscoring broader access and community representation issues.

Everyone Loses

Meanwhile, nearby residents like Lisa Shaw expressed frustration with the ongoing dispute, emphasizing the sense of community and enjoyment pickleball brings. The conflict highlights the complexities of balancing recreational activities, noise regulation, and community interests in affluent neighborhoods like Presidio Wall.

The Continuing Struggle

While we know who we're rooting for in this case, it's constantly an uphill battle for pickleball lovers regarding noise.

Luckily, companies like OWL are trying to find ways to fix it.

Let’s hope more solutions come soon.

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