Pickleball courts are on the move in Oak Bay after council approved up to $70,000 to shift them to the lacrosse box in Carnarvon Park.
In reaction to public complaints about noise, council sitting as committee late last month, asked staff to look at options for mitigating the issues with the current pickleball courts at Carnarvon Park. That report made a quick turnaround, the recommendation from the committee meeting as well as a staff report with some of the sought information – costs associated with moving the courts – appeared at the May 10 meeting.
The speedy response came because staff had previously investigated the option of moving the pickleball courts to the existing lacrosse box, so research regarding costs was already available. Staff also saw an opportunity to use a service provider currently doing court resurfacing at Windsor Park, making the turnaround time-critical.
The report sought a budget up to $65,000 to relocate the pickleball courts to inside the lacrosse box at Carnarvon Park, while leaving about one-third of the space for other users. The lacrosse box is frequently used for other activities, staff said, such as street hockey (families-only during the pandemic) and kids learning bike skills – they wanted to achieve a balance of users.
The Greater Victoria Pickleball Association president called in to the meeting to caution council about having games and other users in one enclosed space.
Trish Main said members have seen other parts of Greater Victoria with shared spaces have infrastructure ruined by things such as bikes and skateboards damaging nets and surfaces.
Coun. Hazel Braithwaite made the motion, amended to have the entire box utilized to build five courts and a budget no more than $70,000.
Other information the committee asked for in April, including noise reduction measures available, are yet to come from staff. This relocation allows staff to assess noise mitigation gained from the extra 155 feet of physical separation from neighbours. It’ll also show the effect of existing boards – four or five feet high. The current courts are about 10 feet from neighbours’ fences. They will be turned back into what they once were, tennis courts.
Funding will come from the district’s surplus reserve. It will include some already needed repairs to the lacrosse box.
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