Plans for pickleball courts in Penfield are one step closer; Neighbors share concerns

PENFIELD, N.Y. — The ongoing pickleball debate continues in the Town of Penfield.

Neighbors voiced their concerns again Wednesday night at the Town Board meeting. They would like to see pickleball courts at Shadow Pines without cutting down trees.

Pickleball has grown in popularity, and many in Penfield want to see courts in their town — while others, not so much.

Wednesday night, the board approved the plan 4-0 authorizing the redesign of the pickleball courts project.

This means updated drawings can now be done by an engineering firm to prepare a site plan for the potential bidding process.

Plans for pickleball courts at Shadow Pines Golf Course have been years in the making.

Three years ago, the town planned on 12 courts; then it went up to 16 courts. Now the new plan is for 10 courts, with two of them extra-large for wheelchair pickleball.

The new design also calls for saving the majority of the trees which were going to be cut down in the original plans.

This was initially a concern for some people in Penfield.

People also spoke out Wednesday night. Some say they have nothing against pickleball, but don’t want to see it at Shadow Pines.

“I want to see the green space at Shadow Pines preserved. My understanding is that when the town bought that that it would be preserved and that only low-impact things would go in there — and Shadow Pines with pickleball is a real disruption to the wildlife and the beauty of the park,” Debra Davis, a neighbor, said.

Others are highly in favor of the project, but would like to see at least 12 courts.

“Sixteen courts are a little less than an acre, so it’s not a big footprint. So, what we took issue with is that they went down to 10 courts from when we started. We wanted to be inclusive,” Jim Froom, a neighbor, said.

After the new drawings are completed by the engineering firm, the Town Board will review the design and site plan and potentially vote on putting the project out to bid.

The review timeline by the board will be dependent on how long it takes for the engineering firm to complete the redesign. They expect the redesign will take a few months, with review potentially later this fall. 

There are still a lot of steps ahead, so neighbors won’t be playing pickleball in Penfield any time soon.