MISSION WOODS, Kan. — The Mission Woods mayor and his wife are ready to go to court over a popular activity.
Darrell and Laurie Franklin live in a home near Mission Woods Road and Mission Woods Terrace. Their home backs up to Mission Hills Country Club.
The Franklins are suing the country club over its pickleball courts.
According to the lawsuit, the tennis courts at Mission Woods Country Club are on the Northwest portion of the property. All of the homes in the neighborhood are to the east and west of the tennis courts. The country club converted the southernmost outdoor tennis court into four outdoor pickleball courts.
The lawsuit said the converted pickleball courts are 90 feet from the property line and less than 200 feet from the Franklin’s home.
“Playing pickelball on pickleball courts positioned in proximity to residential homes creates a nuisance. Absent appropriate noise abatement efforts, it is recommended that pickleball courts be positioned at least 500 to 600 feet away from residential properties, with a potential need for greater distance in environments like golf courses due to the refraction of the noise,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleges pickleball creates a louder sound than tennis and is more intrusive to the surrounding areas. The activity is also played on smaller courts, so there are more people playing pickleball in the same area as one tennis match.
An attorney representing Mission Hills Country Club said the tennis court was converted to pickleball courts in 2017. It said the country club installed an acoustic barrier called Acoustifence earlier in May. The fence blocks and reduces sound.
The lawsuit also claims pickleball is played at the country club from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and results in a continuous and repetitive nuisance. It also alleges there is loud music and vulgar language coming from the courts.
“When the paddle hits the ball it creates a popping sound that causes mental false alarms and makes it difficult to relax, concentrate, or sleep soundly. The continual noise can cause stress, fatigue and anxiety,” according to the lawsuit.
The club’s attorney said the country club sent an update to members last week. In the memo it said pickleball play will be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. It also said all social gatherings on the courts in question must end by 9 p.m.
The country club also installed timers to make sure the court lights are turned off at 9:20 p.m. each night.
The lawsuit asks for a judge to prevent pickleball from being played on the four converted courts at the country club and ban the club from adding additional pickleball courts within 600 feet of the Franklin’s home.
The lawsuit also asks a judge to require the country club to take additional sound reduction measures.
Finally, the lawsuit asks the judge to award the Franklins damages caused by the nuisance they claim the pickleball courts cause.
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