Lawsuit results to keep pickle ball players from using the tennis courts:
Dear Sunflower Residents:
Today was the scheduled bench trial for the lawsuit against the HOA regarding issues raised by the playing of pickleball at Sunflower. The “history” of the lawsuit is available at the front desk at the center for those that would like to delve deeper into the issue.
Both sides were strongly encouraged to engage in settlement talks before the actual trial began. This process went on for about five hours with even the judge getting involved in the talks by acting as what’s known as a “settlement judge” and being the one who took offers and counter offers back and forth. Throughout the process, the judge was strongly advising both sides to reach a settlement.
In the end, as trial was about to begin, both sides reached an agreement. For purposes of ongoing discussions, both tennis and pickleball will be referred to as racquet sports since these hours apply equally to both sports.
Racquet sports can begin at 7:00AM, Monday – Saturday, 10:00AM on Sunday. They must end by 6:00PM four evenings a week and 8:00PM three evenings a week. Those evenings are at the sole discretion of a majority vote of the board. The tennis club will continue to have access to court three a maximum of ten times per year for tournament play. Each side pays their own attorney fees and costs.
The judge made the comment that a settlement should result in no one being totally happy and no one being totally dissatisfied. We, as a board, acted in the best interest of the ENTIRE community to limit costs, potential infringement upon activities and use of facilities and, perhaps most importantly, to begin a much needed healing process in this community.
I’ve relatively new to Sunflower (3 years and I think 10 is the minimum not to be considered “new” J) but know that this has been a divisive issue for years and it’s time for that to stop. We are all neighbors and have to live together. That doesn’t mean we have to be friends or even like one another but it does mean we owe everyone courtesy and respect. Members of the current board will be sitting down with officers of the board chartered “racquet” clubs to try and clear the air once and for all. While that is a lofty and perhaps unobtainable goal, it is no less than what should happen in a community populated by intelligent and mature adult citizens who have already proven themselves in life.
My thanks as the current board president to those members of the board, past and present, who have lived with this issue for a long time and done all the heavy lifting. I’ve only been involved for four months and frankly, it’s already been exhausting so I can’t imagine how the parties involved over a long period must feel.
Tom Howlin, Board President
These comments are 5,000+ words from Sunflower residents rejecting the pickle ball proposal, some of the proposed locations and / or the method of funding. The comments are not all inclusive and were made between April and December 2011.
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