Council Extends Pickleball Pilot

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

With an overwhelming number of supporters, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted in favor of continuing a pilot pickleball program that was implemented at Glenhaven Park Place during the summer.
About 40 community members emailed city staff supporting the program, which will now run an additional four months. The council, which voted 5-0 in favor of allowing pickleball players to continue using the tennis court at Glenhaven Park, advised staff to work on finding possible alternative locations, such as Mayor’s Discovery Park. The council also asked staff to continue studying the program and measure the use of the facilities during the winter season.
The public can continue to play pickleball — a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis that is played on a tennis court and allows up to 16 athletes — on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 2-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Glenhaven Park.
“I think it’s obvious there is a huge need for this in our community and we’re all doing the best we can to find the balance,” said Mayor Terry Walker.
City staff collected data during the three-month pilot program that focused on how pickleball impacted the use of the tennis courts and park, noise and parking.
According to Arabo Parseghian, LCF senior management analyst, the pilot program was “a success” and there were no negative impacts to the park and parking. Tennis players used the courts during non-pickleball hours or elected to play at other sites such as the La Cañada High School tennis courts.
Parseghian added that parking was not an issue and that there were ample spaces on La Granada Way during peak hours.
However, a noise study from Acoustics Group, Inc. found that one its four receptors measuring noise levels exceeded the city’s noise ordinance — an issue that has been raised by park neighbors. Parseghian said that possible solutions to reduce noise include building a wall around the courts, which is estimated to cost between $50,000-$80,000, or adding cushions and noise-canceling barriers on the existing fences, which costs about $10,000.
Councilman Rick Gunter said he was comfortable with continuing the pickleball program after reading all the letters of support from community members.
“I think the idea of looking at a permanent solution for a sport that obviously has a lot of interest is a really smart idea,” he said.