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SLO scraps pickleball courts at Mitchell Park

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San Luis Obispo is switching gears on its plans for new amenities at Mitchell Park—dropping an effort to install two pickleball courts.

"Overall, the public did not support the installation of two pickleball courts," city officials wrote in an Oct. 19 staff report, "and expressed ideas for other passive amenities to revitalize the park."

NO PICKLEBALL SLO is dropping a plan to install pickleball courts in Mitchell Park. - SCREENSHOT COURTESY OF THE CITY OF SLO
  • Screenshot Courtesy Of The City Of SLO
  • NO PICKLEBALL SLO is dropping a plan to install pickleball courts in Mitchell Park.

For the past year, SLO has been discussing strategies to better "activate" Mitchell Park amid public concerns regarding "the condition and low activation of the park."

Early on in the outreach, pickleball courts rose to the top of the wish list, and officials drew up plans to squeeze two courts between the park's central gazebo and the playground. But after a year of discussion, public feedback led the city down an entirely different path.

"The public expressed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the park for social gatherings, special events, open green areas, and rallies," the staff report read. "There were also concerns regarding the impact to the parking lot reserved for the SLO Senior Center members."

Instead, SLO will pursue a hodgepodge of other new amenities at the park, including "chess/checker tables, bocce ball courts, shade structures and a stage, benches, interactive educational signage, and pathway safety lighting."

On Oct. 12, the SLO City Council voted unanimously to support the new plans, with Councilmember Carlyn Christianson recusing herself due to a conflict of interest. The city says it will use the $210,000 of funds set aside for the pickleball courts for the new Mitchell Park project—with $177,952 of those funds coming from a State Parks grant previously awarded to the city.

"Staff has already worked with State Parks to ensure the updated scope still satisfies the grant requirements so there should be no issues re-submitting the grant application," the report stated. Δ

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