East Norwich residents have filed complaints over noise generated by pickleball courts at the Pine Hollow Country Club. NewsdayTV's Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost; Steve Kartsonis

A once-quiet East Norwich neighborhood is in a noisy back-and-forth volley with Pine Hollow Country Club over three pickleball courts the club erected last year amid the colossal surge of the sport.

Some neighbors claim the incessant pop pop pop that has triggered battles between residents and players elsewhere on Long Island has rendered their backyards useless.

But recently a new wave of complaints connected to the courts, which are adjacent to a row of homes on Huckleberry Lane, also has emerged.

Brian Gaffney, 34, the owner of one of those homes, said he has seen players exposing themselves and urinating in plain sight. He said he also has heard shouts of profanity while his three daughters were playing in his family's backyard. 

“It’s gotten to the point of egregiousness that we’re not going to let this go,” Gaffney said in an interview.

Gaffney and one of his neighbors, Steve Kartsonis, brought their concerns to a Town of Oyster Bay meeting in early October, where they requested help from elected officials to rectify the issue after alleged inaction by the club over the course of months. 

Kartsonis, 49, said the club had been a cooperative neighbor since he moved to his home in 2016, with the former tennis court posing no problem.

But after one court was modified into multiple pickleball courts in August 2022, he said the high-pitch sounds became an issue.

“It's affected our quality of life,” Kartsonis said. “I can’t entertain in my yard; I can’t sit in my yard.” 

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said he was “personally outraged” at a surveillance photo from Kartsonis' home presented at the Oct. 3 town hall meeting that showed a person urinating just feet behind the fence separating the homes from the pickleball courts.

Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said there is a code enforcement case against the club pending in Nassau County District Court.

The town previously issued Pine Hollow Country Club violations for expired licenses for structures on the property and public assembly, which the club resolved in court by paying fines and making corrections, according to the town spokesman.

But a violation for unpermitted construction of retaining walls built near the new courts still is pending, as is a separate noise violation related to the club’s landscaping services that was issued Oct. 11, Nevin said. 

“The Town Attorney is exploring further legal options to address these ongoing neighborhood concerns,” Nevin added.

A Nassau County District Attorney’s spokeswoman confirmed the office received a complaint for alleged public urination at the club but declined to comment further. 

Bram Weber, an attorney representing the club, said Pine Hollow Country Club is in the process of filing applications for appropriate permits, noting that its new ownership inherited some permitting issues. Nassau County Clerk's Office records indicate the sale occurred in 2021.

Burak Meyveci, the club’s manager, said Pine Hollow Country Club takes neighbors' concerns seriously.

Pickleball, he said, only can be played from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the club supplies “quiet paddles” that players are required to use after 6 p.m.

Additionally, he said after the town issued violations, the club put up two sections of noise-absorbing sound barriers.

“These swift and vast policy changes around noise were created for the direct courtesy and benefit of our neighbors,” Meyveci added.

A once-quiet East Norwich neighborhood is in a noisy back-and-forth volley with Pine Hollow Country Club over three pickleball courts the club erected last year amid the colossal surge of the sport.

Some neighbors claim the incessant pop pop pop that has triggered battles between residents and players elsewhere on Long Island has rendered their backyards useless.

But recently a new wave of complaints connected to the courts, which are adjacent to a row of homes on Huckleberry Lane, also has emerged.

Brian Gaffney, 34, the owner of one of those homes, said he has seen players exposing themselves and urinating in plain sight. He said he also has heard shouts of profanity while his three daughters were playing in his family's backyard. 

“It’s gotten to the point of egregiousness that we’re not going to let this go,” Gaffney said in an interview.

Gaffney and one of his neighbors, Steve Kartsonis, brought their concerns to a Town of Oyster Bay meeting in early October, where they requested help from elected officials to rectify the issue after alleged inaction by the club over the course of months. 

Kartsonis, 49, said the club had been a cooperative neighbor since he moved to his home in 2016, with the former tennis court posing no problem.

But after one court was modified into multiple pickleball courts in August 2022, he said the high-pitch sounds became an issue.

“It's affected our quality of life,” Kartsonis said. “I can’t entertain in my yard; I can’t sit in my yard.” 

East Norwich residents Brian Gaffney, left, and Steve Kartsonis, in...

East Norwich residents Brian Gaffney, left, and Steve Kartsonis, in Kartsonis' backyard near Pine Hollow Country Club. They say the club's pickleball courts are a neighborhood nuisance. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said he was “personally outraged” at a surveillance photo from Kartsonis' home presented at the Oct. 3 town hall meeting that showed a person urinating just feet behind the fence separating the homes from the pickleball courts.

Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said there is a code enforcement case against the club pending in Nassau County District Court.

The town previously issued Pine Hollow Country Club violations for expired licenses for structures on the property and public assembly, which the club resolved in court by paying fines and making corrections, according to the town spokesman.

But a violation for unpermitted construction of retaining walls built near the new courts still is pending, as is a separate noise violation related to the club’s landscaping services that was issued Oct. 11, Nevin said. 

“The Town Attorney is exploring further legal options to address these ongoing neighborhood concerns,” Nevin added.

A Nassau County District Attorney’s spokeswoman confirmed the office received a complaint for alleged public urination at the club but declined to comment further. 

Bram Weber, an attorney representing the club, said Pine Hollow Country Club is in the process of filing applications for appropriate permits, noting that its new ownership inherited some permitting issues. Nassau County Clerk's Office records indicate the sale occurred in 2021.

Burak Meyveci, the club’s manager, said Pine Hollow Country Club takes neighbors' concerns seriously.

Pickleball, he said, only can be played from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the club supplies “quiet paddles” that players are required to use after 6 p.m.

Additionally, he said after the town issued violations, the club put up two sections of noise-absorbing sound barriers.

“These swift and vast policy changes around noise were created for the direct courtesy and benefit of our neighbors,” Meyveci added.

A Pickle of a Problem

  • Neighbors of Pine Hollow Country Club say pickleball courts are creating headaches for them 

  • The Town of Oyster Bay says it has a code enforcement case against the club

  • The club says it inherited permitting issues from the previous owner and changes have been made that include the addition of sound barriers

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