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Pickleball courts coming to Crestview Park site

The city of Birmingham will begin working on providing temporary pickleball courts at Crestview Park following action by the city commission on Monday, May 23.

Director of public services Lauren Woods reminded commissioners that pickleball courts have been part of the most recent parks and recreation bond issue.

The city parks and reaction board has discussed the issue of pickleball courts since March of 2021. The parks board looked at five potential locations for the courts and the choices were narrowed to three locations, including Crestview Park, Kenning Park and St. James Park.

Two surveys on Engage Birmingham were conducted, with Kenning Park being the location supported the most by survey participants.

Woods told commissioners that parks board members have recommended converting existing tennis courts, of which there are now 16 in the city, higher than the national recommendation on the number of courts based on population.

Although the Kenning Park location ranked the highest in the Engage Birmingham surveys, and was the recommendation of the parks board, Wood told commissioners that the Kenning site may well be part of a future storm sewer retention pond project, which has yet to be engineered by the city. It was noted that eventually, depending on whether a detention pond was constructed underground, Kenning could still be a future site for pickleball courts.

City mayor Theres Longe, a former long-time member of the parks board, told commissioners that it would be “fiscally irresponsible” to move forward on creating courts at the Kenning location at this time.

Discussion then focused on a number of options, including Crestview Park courts being re-striped to allow for both tennis and pickleball, which was eventually rejected by the commissioners.

Ultimately the commission gave unanimous support to a motion providing for replacement of the tennis courts at the Crestview Park with six pickleball courts, with Pierre Boutros not at the meeting. The effort would include establishing the new courts on a temporary basis with painting over existing tennis court striping and making adjustments for pickleball so that the courts could be put to a more immediate use this summer At the same time, the city was requested to seek bids on a more permanent pickleball court situation at Crestwood so that a budget for the project could be established.


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