Battle lines are drawn in Berkeley as neighborhood sours on pickleball

Neighbors living near Cedar-Rose Park in Berkeley are becoming increasingly annoyed by what they say is the constant sound coming from the pickleball courts.

"It's extremely loud and constant. At best it goes from eight in the morning until eight at night," said Katie Harbaugh who lives nearby.

One dad thought he was getting his fourth-grade son interested in a sport with a funny name, not picking sides in a neighborhood controversy.

"It's getting him out and running with no PE class. It's both important and fun," said Sam Roberts.

But for many of those living near the four pickleball courts in Cedar-Rose Park, fun is not a word that pops up much.

The harder a player hits the plastic whiffle-style ball with a paddle, the louder it gets.

"I come home from work. I just want quiet," said Deann Horne. "Not bang, bang, bang, bang."

"It's a fun sport. It's lively. It's pretty easy to pick up," said Lindsay Pettingill.

"It just needs to be someplace else. It's too loud," said Harbaugh.

Neighbors have become activists. They've sent a petition to the city with more than 80 names on it. They are demanding the pickleball courts revert to tennis courts.

They also point to a report by an acoustics engineer saying that pickleball courts should be farther from homes.

Pettingill says she has stopped playing in Cedar-Rose Park.

"Neighbors hang outside the courts. They will film us playing. It is definitely intimidating. And silly," she said.

Berkeley officials did not respond to KTVU's inquiries. 

Neighbors say the parks department installed a lock to keep players out at night. They also say it plans to hang a tarp around the fence in the hopes of muffling the noise. Neighbors doubt that will do much.

"It's a fun game," said Roberts. "I'm sorry it makes so much noise."