Oak Bay fights pickle ball noise with rubber fencing

The pickleball courts at Oak Bay’s Carnarvon Park, now housed in a lacrosse box, will see another level of noise reduction. (Christine van Reuvik/News Staff)
The Pickleball Courts At Oak Bay'S Carnarvon Park, Now Housed In A Lacrosse Box, Will See Another Level Of Noise Reduction.  (Christine Van Reuvik/News Staff)The pickleball courts at Oak Bay’s Carnarvon Park, now housed in a lacrosse box, will see another level of noise reduction. (Christine van Reuvik/News Staff)
The Pickleball Courts At Oak Bay'S Carnarvon Park, Now Housed In A Lacrosse Box, Will See Another Level Of Noise Reduction.  (Christine Van Reuvik/News Staff)The pickleball courts at Oak Bay’s Carnarvon Park, now housed in a lacrosse box, will see another level of noise reduction. (Christine van Reuvik/News Staff)

Oak Bay is hoping to dampen the sounds of pickleball with a rubberized fencing along a segment of the top of a former lacrosse box at Carnarvon Park.

A rolled rubberized product called AcoustiFence or Acoustiblok is used in North America for racquet sports fields to provide wind protection and noise reduction levels.

The staff presented their proposal to the council, which met as a committee on June 20, seeking opinions on next steps to balance the accessibility of the popular sport with the opportunity for neighbors to enjoy their homes and yards.

While the move of the courts increased the distance from the houses on Allenby Street, it moved five courts closer to a couple of houses on the corner of Townley and Henderson streets.

Oak Bay staff said there were fewer complaints about noise, but they were ongoing, with residents attending the meeting attributing the lower number of complaints to fatigue from the process.

Graph. Karyn Greene said this is the start of what appears to be a three-pronged approach: a short-term solution, a long-term solution, and continued research.

Long-term solutions, including increasing the number of courts in the region, are the key to reassuring everyone, said Connie McCann, an Oak Bay resident who attended the meeting as president of the pickleball association.

“The growth of this sport continues unabated and we see it here in the Greater Victoria region. We have 400 members from each municipality,” McCann said.

She offered a $4,000 group donation and echoed the message from municipal staff that they are working with the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association to look into setting standards for boat placement, including a study of sound levels. Steve Meikle, director of Oak Bay Leisure and Cultural Park, said he is involved in ongoing negotiations in the metropolitan area around potential boat sites.

Rubberized fencing was the least expensive option and was considered the most feasible at around $25,000 and could be made in a couple of months. The lacrosse box currently has five feet of plywood around the base, and a new product will add six feet to it.

The Council also accepted a $4,000 offer from the Regional Pickleball Association of Victoria for the project.


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