Pickleball was served a blow at the March 7 Manzanita City Council meeting – their shared-use agreement for the tennis court was terminated.
“The original experiment was the Pickleball Club could use the tennis court from a designated time each day – from like ten-to-two – but the tennis player didn’t think that was fair,” Taylor said.
So the city’s second experiment was for the Pickleball Club to solely use the annexed court designated for the sport – unless the tennis court was not being used. More issues arose when the Pickleball Club placed temporary court lines on the south end of the tennis court – which was ultimately peeled off, leaving white residue behind that has become confusing for tennis players.
“It was not a very successful experiment,” Taylor said.
Pickleball is a sport gaining a large following in the U.S. A paddle sport with elements from tennis, badminton and table tennis, players use a type of whiffle ball on a badminton sized court – and has become very popular among aging populations.
The last time the Pickleball Club was on the agenda of the city council, they were told to present a business plan for the club to create their own court. Instead, they brought ideas to the meeting – including offers from the club to pay to resurface the tennis court and contribute the money they have fundraised toward a new permanent court near the Public Works building.
“I admire efforts by the pickleball players to develop a business plan and complete funding,” Councilwoman Linda Kozlowski said, “I see some valiant efforts, but I don’t see a strategy.”
Assistant City Manager Cynthia Alamillo said staff suggested City Council discontinue shared use.
“Right now, the Pickleball Club is a club,” Alamillo emphasized, “They’re a group of people coming at the same time. The tennis court is a well-known amenity for use in the city.”
Taylor agreed, adding the facility was originally built by the tennis community in Manzanita and maintained by the city and was never intended to be used by established clubs.
“The city is providing casual pickleball players or casual tennis players a facility to do their thing,” Taylor said.
Alamillo said conflicts arise and issues of fairness occur when two different sports share one court.
“The city is in support of pickleball,” she said, “And supports the Pickleball Club to find a permanent court outside the city park.”
Next for the Pickleball Club is to secure funding and a location for their new court.
“The bottom line is this,” Taylor said, “This is a small park, a neighborhood park. The city is not putting in facilities for a club. We have facilities for anyone to walk on.”