New Pickleball Courts At Cays Park ...

Aerial view of the Cays Parks tennis courts facility, showing Courts #1-4 left to right from the bottom row with Court #5 and the basketball court above to be converted into pickleball courts

The May 3 Coronado City Council meeting saw high attendance as the Council prepared to discuss tennis and pickleball court-use data on Coronado’s public courts. With the popularity of both sports among the community, players of both sports were at the meeting to support space for their respective court sports.

City Manager Tina Friend presented the agenda item with the available data on court usage that was able to be gathered by the City between June 2021 and mid-February 2022, as well as from a city-wide survey that went out in March. Friend added a notation that the City lacks data on non-reserved court time from drop-in use and reservations made outside of the City’s system, as well as data from use of private court facilities such as those at the Marriott.

That said, the data the City was able to gather showed that Coronado resident families made up the bulk of court reservations over individual and couples residents and guests, with 42.48% of reservations coming from that user group. The Glorietta Bay Coronado Tennis Center also had the bulk of reservations made through the City reservation system over the Community Center, Cays Park, high school courts, and library court facilities, with 78% of reserved hours being made at that space.

Hours of use for courts peaks from 10 to 12 a.m. and again in the afternoon with after school youth programs from 3 to 5 p.m. A survey in March that received 726 responses from Coronadans showed that 55% of respondents regularly play tennis and 69% regularly play pickleball, with overlap from some respondents who said they play both sports regularly.

Possible short-term solutions listed for consideration included resurfacing Cays Park Court #1 as a traditional surface from its current soft top surface, resurfacing and converting Cays Park Court #5 as four permanent pickleball courts with dedicated pickleball lines, using the high school courts as “add alternates” for dual-use, and/or reaching out to the Marriott for collaboration on pickleball court access preservation. A long-term solution suggestion also listed included potential reconfiguration to include more tennis and pickleball amenities within the Cays Park Master Plan.

Many community members were present to give comment on this agenda item at the meeting with a mix of tennis players and pickleball players sharing their thoughts on potential solutions for court space. There was consensus on both sides that dedicated court space for each sport was preferred over dual-use courts with lines for both tennis and pickleball boundaries, a feeling that was heavily reflected in the City’s survey results as well.

Tennis players advocated for finding new courts for dedicated pickleball use rather than taking away any of the existing tennis courts currently in use around the island, citing the popularity of the sport and high usage of tennis courts in Coronado. Pickleball players agreed with the staff recommendation to make Cay Park Court #5 – currently temporarily modified for use as four pickleball courts – a permanent pickleball space, and finding room for additional pickleball courts to make court space available for each sport more even on the Island, citing the growing popularity of pickleball.

In discussion, councilmembers and the mayor were generally in support of permanently creating four pickleball courts on Cays Park Court #5 and adding lights to that court space to allow for prolonged use of those courts throughout the year. There was also agreement in a desire to look further into ways to reconfigure the grassy area to the right of Court #4 at the Cays Park (nearest the Cays entrance) and the area with the basketball court and sandpit for horseshoes to more efficiently use those spaces to allow for an additional four or more pickleball courts in addition to the horseshoe pit if there is a desire to keep that, and in addition to, or making dual-use of, the basketball court.

Mayor Bailey also suggested starting discussion with the Marriott on partnership options that would allow for additional pickleball space which Councilmember’s Heinze and Donovan agreed with given that something could be worked out that would give dedicated days or times to residents. Councilmember Donovan also suggested getting more information on school use of the two tennis courts at the library to see what the effect would be of converting one of those courts into additional pickleball courts.

Councilmember Heinze also mentioned a desire to have staff look at the current court reservation system and ensure there is equal opportunity for tennis and pickleball players to make reservations on existing courts.

Mayor Bailey made a motion to direct staff to convert Court #5 at the Cays Park into four dedicated pickleball courts, convert the basketball court at the Cays Park into pickleball courts, to have the Cays Park Master Plan consider best use of those spaces behind the tennis courts that would consider including a new basketball court to replace the cannibalized one in the long term, as well as to have staff look into public-private partnerships for both tennis and pickleball facilities, and in the long term direct staff to explore ways to improve the court amenities at the Cays Park and Glorietta Bay Tennis Center.

Councilmember Heinze asked to amend the motion to direct staff to look into the viability of creating pickleball courts on the existing basketball court at the Cays Park without having to remove the basketball hoops to allow for basketball players to retain casual use of the basketball court, and if so, to keep the basketball hoops in place.

Councilmember Donovan also suggested an amendment to resurface Cays Park Court #1 from a soft top court to a traditional surface. With the amendments added to the motion, the Council voted in favor with all members present voting to move forward with that direction.

The council members present voted unanimously in favor of the amended motion.

VOL. 112, NO. 19 - May 11, 2022

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