Joco homeowners didn’t mind nearby country club tennis courts. Pickleball is another story

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Two Johnson County homeowners are asking that a court order a nearby country club to move their pickleball courts farther from their neighborhood, saying the noise is causing them emotional distress.

Laurie Franklin and Darrell Franklin filed a petition earlier this month in Johnson County District Court, accusing Mission Hills Country Club of disrupting the serenity of their neighborhood by adding pickleball to their club.

Darrell Franklin is currently serving his third term as mayor of Mission Woods. According to the Johnson County Election Office, the mayor resides at the address listed in the petition. Franklin could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

The Franklins in court fillings described their neighborhood, which abuts the country club, as a quiet area in which residents expect a peaceful atmosphere to enjoy their homes.

That was until the country club converted some of their tennis courts into four pickleball courts that sit about 200 feet from the residential area, and are just across from the Franklins’ home on Mission Woods Road, they said. Pickleball, according to the Franklins, is a much louder game than tennis.

“The tranquil and peaceful environment reasonably expected by Darrell and Laurie is severely disturbed when pickleball is regularly played at the four pickleball courts,” the plaintiffs said in court records.

The courts near their home are open as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m., court records say.

The lawsuit alleges the “popping” sound of pickle ball in play “makes it difficult to relax, concentrate, or sleep soundly” and has driven Laurie Franklin to wear noise canceling headphones while doing yard work.

The Franklins also allege they can hear the “loud, constant and intrusive” pickleball play from inside their home.

They claim the change has caused them stress, sleep disruption and anxiety.

The Franklins are petitioning a judge to order the country club to move the courts at least 500 or 600 feet from any homes.

The club in a letter sent to members last week clarified that it first converted a court for pickleball in 2017.

The letter, a copy of which was provided to The Star by Brendan McPherson, an attorney at Polsinelli who is representing the club, added that the homeowners who filed the lawsuit are not members of the club.

Before the petition was filed, club leaders wrote, several changes were made to “lessen the impact of pickleball play on the club’s neighbors.”

This included the installation of an acoustic barrier which reduces sound and limited the pickleball hours to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The letter ended by saying that the club’s board of directors and the Polsinelli law firm were planning a “vigorous defense” to the petition.

An attorney for the plaintiffs could immediately be reached for comment Monday morning.

No court date has yet been set.