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City council discusses pickleball noise complaints

Posted: 6:38 PM, Jan 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-03 09:12:14-05
City council discusses pickleball noise complaints

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- Residents in Punta Gorda are in a bit of a pickle with pickleball. People who play the the popular sport have received several noise complaints from neighbors.

The complaints say the players have been playing 24/7, and want something done about the noise.

James Round with the Homeowners Association in the area is one of those people. "The noise is one thing, it’s the gathering. It’s really sort of an inappropriate crowd size for this type of a park. This is a neighborhood park, always has been,” Round said.

The pickle ball players see it differently. Like Ricardo Deller, who’s played the game for 3 years. "The noise complaint says we play 24 hours a day, there’s no way we can play 24 hours a day in Florida sun,” said Deller. "The noise sounds like nothing that they describe.”

In a city council meeting on Wednesday, council members came up with a tentative option to try to keep both sides happy.

  1. The city would like to install acoustic fencing around the facility to keep the noise to a minimum. It would cost about $16,000 to do.
  2. Reducing the amount of courts at Gilchrist Park from 8 to 4.
  3. Attempt to enforce no parking on the grass.

Even with a few differences, the community is looking to find a common ground. "We would love to find a happy medium. This a community. When I say the love in this community is big, it’s so huge,” said Deller.

The community is also developing a pickleball complex called ‘Pickleplex,’ which is scheduled to open next month. Some neighbors say that could help with the overcrowding.