CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Neighbors were upset about shouting and cursing. Children were scared of the fighting. And walkers didn’t care for marijuana smoking.
For more than three years, complaints have stacked up about the conduct of basketball players at Cypress Park at 1301 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs officials said.
This week, the city government presented a solution: replace the basketball courts with eight pickleball courts.
And if that happens, Coral Springs would have enough pickleball courts to attract national tournaments whose players would generate new revenue for local businesses.
Officials are looking to spend $50,000 to replace the park’s basketball courts, which are 75 feet from a playground and across the canal from homes, whose residents have been among those complaining the hardest about the basketball players.
“We’re averaging about two phone calls a month about the profanity, the screaming, the yelling, the smell,” said Robert Hunter, the city’s director of parks and recreation.
Over the years, Coral Springs has tried other ways to deal with the problems by adding palm trees, changing the length of the courts, and putting up signs to discourage profanity and fighting, Hunter said.
But nothing has worked to reduce the complaints, he said.
The plan presented to City Commissioners on Wednesday calls for resurfacing the courts for pickleball as well as adding wind-screening and a water fountain.
Pickleball is a fast-growing sport, a hybrid of ping pong, badminton, and tennis that is particularly popular among senior citizens. Read our story about expansion of pickleball in Coral Springs here.
If the project moves forward, Coral Springs will have a total of 14 pickleball courts, enough to attract several national tournaments, Hunter said.
Commissioners liked the idea.
“It’s a great idea,” said Vice Mayor Joy Carter. “I’m so excited about pickleball courts. I love to play.”
Commissioner Joshua Simmons encouraged the city to consider moving the basketball courts to another part of the park, away from the playground and houses.
“I don’t want to inconvenience anyone,” he said, referring to the players.
He said he received a petition from some players who asked the courts to remain in place.
Many of the people who have caused problems aren’t from Coral Springs and the petition’s organizer is from Miami, Hunter said.
Hunter said Coral Springs has plenty of basketball courts at city parks, more than 30 of them.
It’s not clear yet what will happen next step at Cypress Park.
As Hunter sees it, he hopes the city moves forward with the plan.
“We’ll alleviate a problem and create new opportunity,” Hunter said. “This will be a win-win for everyone.
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