(Updated at 10:30 a.m. on 2/6/2024) After more than a year of impassioned and often acrimonious public testimony, Reston Association will drop plans for pickleball courts as part of the renovation of Barton Hill’s tennis courts.
At a meeting on Jan. 25, the RA Board of Directors voted to remove pickleball courts from the scope of the renovation, which had inspired passionate testimony from both pickleball lovers and neighboring residents concerned about safety, security, parking and the noise associated with the burgeoning sport.
Board director Jennifer Jushchuk, who proposed removing pickleball from the renovation, said she was impressed by the level of public engagement on the proposal.
“I feel like we’ve pitted members against members, and I don’t think that was ever the intention of the board that approved it,” she said, adding that she hopes RA can determine the scope of pickleball needs in the community.
“I just don’t think we got there with Barton Hill,” Jushchuk said.
Most board members said they were concerned about the disproportionate impact of pickleball on the surrounding community.
“I have to be sympathetic to the needs of the people who actually live in the community,” said director Travis Johnson.
Some of that debate continued at the Jan. 25 board meeting.
Residents like Laura David, who lives on Harper Square Court, pressed the board to look for more appropriate places for pickleball that wouldn’t disturb neighboring communities with noise.
“Let’s think outside of the original box we all had, which was to look at Barton Hill,” David said.
Others like Hayes McCarty, a Reston resident for more than 50 years, said RA’s board should take into account noise studies it commissioned that found average noise levels created by pickleball fall below limits enforced by Fairfax County’s noise ordinance.
“The association paid a lot of money for these studies. These people are experts, and I think we have to listen to what they have to say,” McCarty said.
As the plan moved through approval process, RA scaled back plans for pickleball at the facility, which currently consists of four unlit tennis courts built in 1985 at 1901 Barton Hill Road.
Last September, RA reduced its plan for the facility from six to four dedicated pickleball courts and two dedicated tennis courts, removing blended lines that would have allowed both tennis and pickleball uses. Now, all of the courts will be for tennis.
Some board members were dismayed with how the decision was rolled out.
Board director Margaret Perry said she wants RA to brainstorm alternatives for other pickleball locations before voting against its inclusion in Barton Hill. Her motion to delay the vote to the board’s March meeting did not gain traction, and she ultimately voted against removing pickleball from the project.
(Correction: This story initially said Margaret Perry voted for removing pickleball.)
Board president John Farrell said he was particularly concerned with how some board members justified nixing pickleball, noting that neighboring residents often have concerns about the addition of any new facility or program to the community.
“No way in hell am I going to give the neighbors a veto over serving the other 63,000 people [in Reston] and I’m disturbed that I heard some of my colleagues suggest that that’s the fundamental analysis,” Farrell said. “I hope that’s not the case.”
Good Wednesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Nearly two years after updating its vision for the future of McLean Central Park, the Fairfax County Park Authority is ready to start work on some of the planned upgrades….
After a soft opening in early February, Down the Line Sports Center will officially introduce itself to Fairfax City tomorrow (Thursday). The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting, followed by a meet-and-greet with six professional pickleball players visiting from around the country.
Restonians now have a chance to own a piece of their community’s history. Reston Museum, which is located at Lake Anne Plaza, will hold a raffle over the next month…
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
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Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and