DENVER (KDVR) — What used to be a popular spot for pickleball is now gated off and under construction.

On April 3, Denver Parks and Recreation closed the pickleball courts at Congress Park and halted plans to relocate the courts farther away from homes. The department also canceled construction plans for new courts at Sloan’s Lake Park.

“It just felt a bit capricious for them to shut down play when there was already an established plan,” said pickleball player Deborah Saint-Phard.

According to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, moving the courts farther away would help with noise but would increase park conflicts because of an increase in pickleball usage. Here’s the full response from the board:

“The proposed redesign of moving pickleball courts farther from residences might address noise violations, however, the redesign’s addition of courts would increase park conflicts due to the increase in pickleball usage. With a lack of perimeter parking and several facilities within Congress Park such as an outdoor pool, athletic fields, playground, maintenance shop and other sport courts, pickleball parking has overflowed into the adjacent alley and neighborhood. In addition, pickleball play routinely spreads onto nearby tennis courts which violates park rules and regulations, producing sound that exceeds the city noise ordinance.  Due to these reasons, pickleball courts will not be rebuilt in Congress Park.”

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

As a result of the closure, pickleball player and attorney Hollynd Hoskins filed an appeal to the board for Denver Parks and Recreation on Monday, which included nearly 300 signatures in support.

“We’re asking the board to please intervene, give us a seat at the table, schedule a public meeting, and let’s have a seat at the negotiation table and let’s come up with an equitable solution for everyone,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins asked the board to put the appeal on the agenda for its next meeting. The Advisory Board said it is still reviewing the appeal.