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Pickleball battle shows no signs of slowing down

Residents around Walter Reed Community Center still irked at proposals
/Village Media file photo

Next stop in the contentious battle over pickleball facilities in Arlington? A community meeting set for May 23.

The event, to start at 7 p.m., will be held at ground zero of the pickleball wars: Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th St. South).

Plans by the county government to expand pickleball offerings at Walter Reed generated extensive pushback from surrounding residents, who said they are being forced to absorb the negative noise impacts while other parts of the county are not.

In response, officials with the Department of Parks and Recreation have unveiled a plan to reduce the planned number of courts at Walter Reed and add pickleball striping to tennis courts located in other areas of the county.

But that plan has several flaws, said Armand Ciccarelli, representing the Columbia Heights Civic Association at the May 13 County Board meetings.

The civic association is particularly concerned that striping of the tennis courts elsewhere will only occur during the upcoming summer months, leading to “an entire additional summer with peak pickleball at Walter Reed with no mitigation,” Ciccarelli said.

He also voiced concern about inconsistent actions being taken on noise mitigation and drop-in play.

County Board member Takis Karantonis encouraged all those interested to attend the May 23 event, which will “discuss all the technical details” and gather feedback.