In a pickle: Local community fed up with noise from nearby pickleball court

Pickleball, a seemingly innocuous paddle sport that has exploded in popularity over the recent years, has become a major nuisance in one Philadelphia neighborhood. 

Residents who live across the street from the pickleball courts at the Water Tower Recreation Center in Chestnut Hill say they're fed up with the constant popping of balls being hit. 

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the city, the pickleball courts have become a safe and fun outdoor activity. Players say pickleball appeals to a wide range of people, from young and spry to older and less mobile. 

But even the players will admit that pickleball isn't always the quietest sport. 

The pickleball courts at Water Tower Recreation Center sit just across the street from perturbed residents.

"I think there is some a validity to it," Jude Brandt said. "I mean, it is noisier than tennis and I think the dialogue between the players and residents is important." 

The community met on Monday to try to find a compromise. Some suggested softer ball and paddle, or cutting court hours. 

Some called for pickleball to be shutdown all together. If not, they're planning on filing a lawsuit against the city for breaking its own noise ordinance. 

"8-9 months a year you can’t open your windows," Joe O'Donnell said. "Did you ever try and live someplace where you can’t open your windows with the racket? That’s how loud it is."

Philadelphia said it will open more pickleball courts at a recreation center in Mount Airy that could help alleviate the noise problem.