Fighting city hall: Couple’s pickleball battle continues

Pickleball courts in downtown Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 30, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

HURRICANE – Scott Johnson believes he has a right to some peace and quiet, but living across the street from Hurricane City pickleball courts he isn’t getting much of either.

Johnson, who simply wants the courts shut down at 10 p.m. so he and his wife can get some sleep, now says he plans to pursue legal action against the city.

The Johnsons first appeared at a Hurricane City Council meeting June 16 and requested that the courts be closed earlier than 11 p.m. on weeknights, or that the city install a wall or other type of soundproofing which Johnson said was promised him when the courts were first built.

“I don’t care what they do, as long as I get to where I can stand to be at my house,” he adds.

Read more: ‘Bop, bop, bop’; Pickleball noise rankles residents

The Johnsons have lived in their home nearly 20 years. The courts across the street on 200 West Street used to be tennis courts, which were quieter, but in 2011 the pickleball courts opened.

Johnson believes he has a Constitutional right to peace and quiet and doesn’t understand why the pickleball hours don’t conform to the noise ordinance, which runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“After that you’re not even supposed to mow your lawn or anything, no noise,” he said. And it’s not just at night, if it’s an annoying noise it isn’t allowed any time of day.

They have quiet time at hospitals because it’s good for people, Johnson said.

“I just want some quiet,” he said, “ it doesn’t have to be peaceful quiet, it just needs to be where I can stand it.”

The Johnsons have appeared at several council meetings, Hurricane Mayor John Bramall said in an earlier interview. The mayor has since declined further comment because the Johnsons have threatened to take legal action.

At the Aug. 4 city council meeting the Johnsons presented a petition for closing the pickleball courts at 10 p.m. It was signed by nearly 70 people, with many of them residents of the area close to the pickleball courts.

Johnson said the city council looked at the petition but told him it didn’t matter because the signers of the petition were not present at the meeting.

Sept. 1, the city council changed the court times from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. during daylight savings time and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the rest of the year, Councilwoman Pam Humphries said in an email.

“It still don’t matter, I’m still getting only seven hours of sleep whether it’s daylight savings time or not,” Johnson said.

Johnson will speak during the public comment part of Thursday’s city council meeting; he also plans to be on the Oct. 20 council agenda to discuss the matter again with city officials.

“I plan on retiring there. I don’t want to listen to it all my life. I want some kind of soundproofing,” Johnson added.

Hurricane City ordinances can be found online here.

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • RealMcCoy October 5, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Just start blasting some rap music towards the courts.
    You’ll get your justice soon after that.

    • .... October 6, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Hey McCoy I got a better idea. Turn the paddleball courts into Skeet shooting areas and show up with shot guns. and every time someone hits the ball yell out Pull ! and shoot the ball

  • St. G October 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Pickle ball is fun, but the paddles are loud.

  • .... October 6, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Does Obamacare cover Pickleball traumatic stress disorder. ? St.G is right about them paddles they are noisy

  • thegreatone October 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Let’s put in gang members instead of nice people playing pickleball. Then you will only hear the sound of glass breaking in your car windows and the occasional gun shot.

    • .... October 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Well I was thinking maybe they can put in a rocket engine testing facility and relocate the pickle ball courts. .

  • [email protected] October 6, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I went to the 10/6/2016 city council meeting. I think they were more understanding than in the past. Untell the ordnance for noise , nuisance is addressed they should stop all play.

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