Park board balks at idea of curbing pickleball hours in on-going dispute

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — The battle over the Kelly Park pickleball courts between one resident and the Warsaw Parks board continues to simmer months after the complaint first surfaced.

Judy Heiman, who lives near the pickleball courts, is now asking the city to limit the evening hours for pickleball at the courts.

Heiman has lobbied the parks department for months to take action to limit the repetitive noise created by the sport. The parks office has looked at numerous options, most of which would have been expensive, and then hired a consultant which suggested two barriers errected nearby could reduce the noise.

The barriers would reduce the noise from 56 decibels to 48 decibels, but would cost $10,000 to $15,000 and would not eliminate the noise.

Heiman was supportive of the idea, but questioned its effectiveness and then pointed to the idea of cutting back playing hours, an idea she said was instituted in one instance at a pickleball court in Florida.

She contends that noise from the courts makes it difficult to enjoy her three-seasons room and ourdoor gardening.

“And I can’t use that room any more because it overlooks that park and that’s all I can hear is that pounding of that ball because it’s only 300 feet away,” Heiman said. “I can’t even sit out there with the windows closed. It comes right through the glass.”

Board member Michelle Boxell said many folks who play pickleball work during the day.

Park board member Steve Haines didn’t like the idea of curbing hours and said he doesn’t think she’ll ever be satisfied.

“One thing that worries me is if we limit the hours, next month we’ll have ten pickleball players here raising cain about having their hours shut off,” Haines said.

“My opinion right now — we can not make you happy. We can put this up, you’re not gonna be happy. If we change the hours, you’re gonna want something else,” Haines said. “I, for one, am not willing to change hours because that affects a lot of people.”

The board chose not to take any action for now.