Nineteen pickleball enthusiasts stood in attendance at Lake Country District’s council meeting on July 16 when controversy over the Shoreline Park development took over the public gallery comment period.
The players rallied at city hall to show their interest in additional pickleball courts being developed at Shoreline Park while two concerned residents took to the podium to share their displeasure with the management and logistics of the facilities.
“My life is being dictated by the sport court noise,” said Shoreline Drive resident Kal Buterman.
Bob Hodgins and the accompanying pickleball players were requesting that two more pickleball courts be developed in the park, to keep up with the increase in demand.
But for Buterman and fellow neighbour Terry Burford, having two more sport courts furthers the opportunity for uncontrolled noise pollution.
Both residents cited multiple incidents of sports court users who used the facilities outside park hours, playing music and turning on headlights that leaked into residents’ backyards and into their homes.
A few residents invited Coun. Jerremy Kozub to their place to sit on the deck and listen to the noise to get a better understanding of what residents who are close in proximity are dealing with.
“I was there almost until 11 p.m. and they were still playing, then another vehicle showed up and backed in with loud music,” Coun. Kozub said.
“It’s not that they’re against the (courts) or anything, it’s just the incessant noise.”
Buterman claimed that both the development manager and Mark Koch, director of community development for Lake Country, told him the area behind his house was to stay as green space.
But now, it is the source of Buterman and his family’s discomfort in their home.
“Through the development and subdivision process, land is dedicated by the developers to the community for future parks and recreation use,” said Koch.
“So it is unclassified as to the type of programming.”
“I can speak for my wife and myself: we are disturbed by (the park),” responded Burford.
“We bought the house under the basis that was a green space.”
A few solutions for the courts were proposed by Burford.
Burford said he thinks pot lights placed in the park is a bad idea, that park hours should be shortened from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m., for a lock to be put on the bathroom and that different types of trees be put up to absorb some of the noise.
The pickleball players in attendance said they are respectful and obey the rules of the courts, mostly only playing on Saturdays.
They plan to have more events, approach schools with playing opportunities and grow the sport in the community.
Before the sports court was developed and open for the residents, Buterman claimed he dealt with unbearable construction noise, debris and a broken pool filter, consequential of constant construction dust.
Lake Country Mayor James Baker said the first time he heard about this issue was last month when Buterman approached council and that the noise from construction isn’t always completely determined by council.
“We don’t have any statutory authority at all to make them complete it within two years or three years or five years even,” said Baker. “It’s up to the developer.”
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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