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Legal Clash Over Pickleball Noise in Lone Tree

Clash Over Pickleball Noise: The city of Lone Tree finds itself at the center of a legal dispute as five residents file a lawsuit in Douglas County, accusing the city of allowing excessive noise from pickleball courts to disrupt their lives. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, claims the noise from the recreational center’s courts has exceeded “all reasonable standards,” depriving residents of the “quiet enjoyment of their homes and outdoor spaces.” Despite months of complaints, the city has allegedly refused to close the courts.

A Community’s Growing Frustration

The lawsuit paints a picture of persistent noise, with pickleball striking paddles every two seconds for up to 13 hours a day. This relentless activity has pushed the plaintiffs to demand the courts’ closure for the past seven months. Pickleball, a sport combining elements of badminton and tennis, has surged in popularity recently, causing similar disputes in Denver’s Congress Park and Centennial. However, the six outdoor pickleball courts at Lone Tree Recreation Center, operated by South Suburban Parks and Recreation, remain a point of contention. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., the courts even feature nighttime lighting, extending play hours and, consequently, the noise.

Noise Levels and Legal Definitions

The neighbors conducted their own sound study, revealing noise levels exceeding permissible limits by 10-15 decibels. The lawsuit states that the average noise level of pickleball strikes is 62.1 decibels, while Colorado’s noise abatement statute sets daytime limits at 50 decibels and nighttime at 45 decibels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. While pickleball noise falls below this threshold, the lawsuit argues it still constitutes “unreasonable noise” under city code. This definition includes any sound that “annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities” or “endangers the safety or health of humans or animals.”

Residents’ Battle for Peace and Quiet

The plaintiffs include residents who purchased homes for their scenic sunset views but now find their enjoyment marred by the incessant noise. Despite attempts to mitigate the issue with fountains, speakers, and even headsets, the noise remains intrusive, audible even inside their homes. One resident, who works from home, claims the noise has severely impacted his ability to focus. The lawsuit seeks to shut down the pickleball courts unless they are enclosed in a soundproof structure. Additionally, the residents are asking for reimbursement of their legal fees.

FOX31 reached out to both the plaintiffs and the city of Lone Tree for comments. The city declined to comment on pending litigation. As this case unfolds, it highlights the growing tensions between the rise of pickleball and the quest for peace and quiet in suburban communities.

Clash Over Pickleball Noise

News in Brief: Clash Over Pickleball Noise

Five residents of Lone Tree, Colorado, have filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming excessive noise from pickleball courts is disrupting their lives. Despite months of complaints, the city has not closed the courts. The lawsuit seeks to shut down the courts unless they are enclosed in a soundproof structure and asks for reimbursement of legal fees. This case underscores the rising tensions between the sport’s popularity and the residents’ desire for peace and quiet.

ALSO READ: Mono College Park’s New Pickleball Courts: A Community Victory

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