The general growth of pickleball across North America has caused inevitable frictions with other sports (especially tennis) and in the case of North Saanich, residents near the courts concerned about noise as well as the lack of public consultation. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

The general growth of pickleball across North America has caused inevitable frictions with other sports (especially tennis) and in the case of North Saanich, residents near the courts concerned about noise as well as the lack of public consultation. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

North Saanich council won’t lock down pickleball courts before November

Discussion will be picked back up at a planning meeting in the fall

Municipal officials in North Saanich will wait until November to decide whether they will put locks on the pickleball courts on Wain Road, but at least one councillor remains open to the possibility.

Councillors voted unanimously on Monday to receive and refer a report detailing the costs of placing locks on the pickleball courts to a planning meeting in November. Council had commissioned that report after voting 4-2 to (with Couns. Heather Gartshore and Murray Weisenberger opposed) to investigate the costs of placing timed locks on the courts after Coun. Brett Smyth had pointed out courts remain in use beyond posted hours – exacerbating noise concerns.

According to the report, it would cost $6,000 to place timed locks on the courts in preventing users from accessing the courts before and after opening hours.

The growing popularity of the sport — especially but not exclusively among seniors — has led to heavy use of the courts in North Saanich, but also tensions with area neighbours concerned about noise and Monday’s decision means that the municipality won’t take any potentially divisive actions at least until November when council will review the issue again.

The courts are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday, Saturday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. They used to be open from dawn to dusk before the municipality posted the new hours in response to noise concerns.

RELATED: North Saanich looks into locking up pickleball courts after hours

“I don’t want to minimize the concerns of the residents,” said Coun. Patricia Pearson. “I understand that the noise is an on-going frustration.” But council needs to stick to its course, she said. “If we want to be transparent and encourage peoples’ trust, we can’t be changing decisions or modifying them along the way.”

Pearson said council knew it was a possibility that the municipality would lack the means to enforce the hours in case users wouldn’t follow them. “I agree with the referral and we can look at other options at that time.”

Gartshore also acknowledged the need for “evasive action” in the future if it is “really problematic,” but also signalled skepticism about placing locks on courts to prevent players from using them after hours.

“How much beyond 6 p.m. are people staying?” she asked. “Or how much earlier than 8 a.m.? I don’t know. How problematic is it? I’m not prepared to spend $6,000 just to carry this on.”

This said, both Smyth and Gartshore agreed with a suggestion from the Saanich Peninsula Pickleball Association to improve the signage for the posted hours, a move formalized with a unanimous council vote.

Council also signalled intentions to improve the collection of impartial court usage data.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-B.C. workers to staff Island vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

One person has been arrested following an assault on a man with Down syndrome along Dallas Road April 17. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man with Down syndrome attacked along Victoria’s Dallas Road

Suspected assailant arrested, sent to hospital for mental health assessment

Victoria police arrested a wanted man April 19, seizing drugs, firearms and body armour. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Drugs, loaded weapons, body armour seized from Victoria suite

Man was wanted for the possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read