Complaining neighbors in Presidio Heights who have been unhappy about the noise caused by pickleball games happening at the Presidio Wall tennis courts are getting their way, at least in part.
The SF Recreation & Parks Department has announced that it will be removing pickleball nets from half of the courts at the Presidio Wall Playground, calling these "unauthorized. Six of the twelve courts will still be available for pickleball, but six courts will return to use as tennis-only courts as of Friday, the department says.
KTVU reported on the change, which has sparked a call for protest from some neighborhood pickleball enthusiasts, and a call by those enthusiasts for Rec & Parks to delay the nets' removal until they can voice their concerns.
But Rec & Parks appears to be giving in to wealthy neighbors in Presidio Heights, who launched a petition last August over the noise generated by the courts. The petition, hilariously, called for an "environmental impact assessment" — a typical gambit of NIMBYs across California. And, as some counter-protesters gleefully pointed out, the author of the petition, Holly Peterson, had recently put her home in Presidio Heights which boasted its own pickleball court in its backyard!
The neighbors say the incessant ponging of pickleballs hitting rackets has gotten to be tiresome. As one told KTVU, "[It's like] bang bang bang to your head. It's a more distinct and staccato-sound than what tennis balls and rackets make."
But six pickleball courts will remain, and to counter the protests of pickleball fans, Rec & Parks was just tweeting on Wednesday about how many pickleball courts it has created across the city in just a few years' time.
There were just 12 pickleball courts in SF in 2018, and there are now 87 — 63 outdoors and 24 indoors. And, additionally, more than one-tenth of the city's 139 tennis courts have been striped to also accommodate pickleball, and the department has pledged to double-stripe every tennis court that it repaves going forward.
We've increased that number to 87 total places to play, including 63 outdoor pickleball courts & 24 indoor pickleball facilities. Additionally, to address continuing demand, every tennis court that Rec & Park repaves will now include dual-painted lines for pickleball. pic.twitter.com/vDISSjPkLM— San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (@RecParkSF) January 17, 2024
But, for the Presidio Wall pickleballers, there may be some fighting over fewer courts in the near future.
FYI, pickleball and tennis court reservations can be made here.
Photo via SF Rec & Parks