Vienna limits pickleball play because of noise

The town council of Vienna, Virginia, voted 5 to 2 Monday night to limit pickleball from seven to three days a week at the popular courts in Glyndon Park.

Effective March 1, pickleball play will be limited to Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the other four days, courts will be available for tennis. FFXNow first reported the vote.

The park features two tennis courts, which pickleball players can quickly convert to four pickleball courts with the use of mobile pickleball nets, which can be easily set up and removed. The town has obliged by painting additional lines on the courts, defining the parameters of pickleball play.

“The Parks and Recreation Department has received numerous concerns and complaints from residents regarding pickleball at Glyndon Park … the most recent complaint from the Glyndon Park neighbors is the noise from pickleball has ruined the livability of their neighborhood and significantly decreased the value of their homes,” Leslie Herman, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, told the town council before the vote at the evening meeting.

Earlier in the day, with the sun shining and temperatures reaching into the lower 60s, the pickleball nets were up, and the “thwack, thwack, thwack” sound of paddle to ball filled the air in the park nestled in a leafy neighborhood of single-family homes.

The Town of Vienna rules on limiting pickleball because of noise, WTOP's Dick Uliano reports

“I started playing pickleball during COVID. Why? Because it’s an outdoor activity that’s fun. It gives me lots of exercise and was safe during the COVID era, and I got hooked on the sport, and I play it regularly now,” said Kyle Scott, a member of the Vienna Pickleball Club, which bought the nets used on the Glyndon courts.

The pickleball players say it’s unfair that their play is being limited, particularly because Vienna has noise limit regulations, and the sound of pickleball doesn’t exceed the limits.

“We can’t make less noise, although there are quieter pickleball paddles, and we encourage people to buy the quieter ones. But there are noise ordinances in this town, the same for a leaf blower as they are for a lawn mower, as they are for a guy working on a roof, as they are for pickleball … this is a public park, a public park should be used,” Scott said.

Town council members say they are actively looking for other parks that can host the popular sport, without disturbing neighbors.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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