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BAS Message
February 2024

Miscellaneous News

1. Thwack! Thwack!

Presidio Heights in San Francisco is "a rarefied community where Silicon Valley's elite mingle with affluent families," a real estate description coos. There are tennis and basketball facilities, swings and ballfields.   It is also ground zero of the latest pickleball battle in America.

Holly Peterson, who lives in a 12,000-square-foot $29 million home  (with a pickleball court) commanding views of the Golden Gate Bridge -- and of the free public pickleball courts--helped launch a petition asking the city to suspend pickleball in a nearby playground called Presidio Wall: "The endless racket threatens the fragile ecosystem and our community's prestige," the petition argued.  Peterson said the loud whacking of pickleballs as early as 6:20 a.m. jeopardized property values, and said, "I personally have suffered irreversible damages" -- noting her own house had been on the market for six months. Peterson's neighbor also testified, describing a "frequent popping sound and the yelling and the shouting and the screaming that goes along with this very passionate sport."

San Francisco's park commission contracted with acoustics firm Salter for a noise-assessment study, which was conducted over a seven-day period. Ambient noise levels measured at about 40 decibels at several locations, including balconies and roof decks; pickleball readings spiked to as high as 94 decibels, equivalent to a hair dryer.

After review, they proceeded with a plan to take six of the 12 pickleball courts out of commission and turn them back into solely tennis courts.

(Pickleball is cross between tennis and ping pong, played with a hard ball and hard racquet, on a 1/4th size court)  WSJ 22Ja24

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updated 4/14/23