Last week North Haven's village board adopted a six-month moratorium on...

Last week North Haven's village board adopted a six-month moratorium on building permits for pickleball courts on residential properties. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

North Haven Village Mayor Chris Fiore considers himself among the surging number of pickleball fans and players.

“I’m a senior citizen,” he said. “We all love the game.”

But like other Long Island municipal leaders, Fiore and fellow North Haven board members recently have had to confront a side effect of the sport's popularity: noise complaints.

With that in mind, last week the village board adopted a six-month moratorium on building permits for courts for pickleball or padel, a similar racket sport, on residential properties.

The moratorium also applies to converting tennis courts for pickleball use but doesn't limit construction permits for new tennis courts. 

East Hampton Village approved a similar moratorium last year and Southampton Village discussed potential code changes last month that would set boundary requirements for pickleball and padel courts.

Fiore said pickleball — which combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong — opens a new avenue for older residents to exercise and provides for “camaraderie” and “social interaction” on the court.

“But if I lived next door to one and they played for three hours every afternoon, it would make me crazy,” the mayor added.

In North Haven, a village of about 1,100 residents nestled between Sag Harbor and Shelter Island, the moratorium will allow officials time to consider code changes, such as sound abatement requirements or banning pickleball courts on residential property, according to Fiore.

The mayor said village officials have heard of at least one dispute between North Haven neighbors related to pickleball. The “complaining neighbor” offered to pay for sound attenuation pads, but the pickleball-playing neighbor declined the offer, he said.

“Now we have six months to pass a code solution to this pickleball issue,” Trustee Claas  Abraham said at a February board discussion.

No residents spoke at a public hearing on the moratorium before the board's vote.

In East Hampton Village, officials haven’t adopted any code changes since its moratorium. Village administrator Marcos Baladron said board members extended the moratorium by six months and likely will extend it again in May. He said other issues have taken priority.

The moratorium coincided with a lawsuit East Hampton Village faced from a couple who argued pickleball had no place in a local park. A judge dismissed the lawsuit since by then the village already had eliminated pickleball plans at Herrick Park as part of a renovation project.

Similar disputes have unfolded across Long Island, including in the Town of Oyster Bay where the municipality recently filed a lawsuit against Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich for allegedly erecting pickleball courts, among other amenities, without proper permitting. Neighbors whose homes are adjacent to the club have complained about quality-of-life problems because of the courts.

North Haven has a tennis court behind its village hall where residents also can play pickleball.

Fiore said the village plans to resurface that court with money from a federal grant. He said he also plans to propose adding $75,000 to the June 1 budget to build two pickleball courts at village hall — a safe distance from residential properties.

North Haven Village Mayor Chris Fiore considers himself among the surging number of pickleball fans and players.

“I’m a senior citizen,” he said. “We all love the game.”

But like other Long Island municipal leaders, Fiore and fellow North Haven board members recently have had to confront a side effect of the sport's popularity: noise complaints.

With that in mind, last week the village board adopted a six-month moratorium on building permits for courts for pickleball or padel, a similar racket sport, on residential properties.

The moratorium also applies to converting tennis courts for pickleball use but doesn't limit construction permits for new tennis courts. 

East Hampton Village approved a similar moratorium last year and Southampton Village discussed potential code changes last month that would set boundary requirements for pickleball and padel courts.

Fiore said pickleball — which combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong — opens a new avenue for older residents to exercise and provides for “camaraderie” and “social interaction” on the court.

“But if I lived next door to one and they played for three hours every afternoon, it would make me crazy,” the mayor added.

In North Haven, a village of about 1,100 residents nestled between Sag Harbor and Shelter Island, the moratorium will allow officials time to consider code changes, such as sound abatement requirements or banning pickleball courts on residential property, according to Fiore.

The mayor said village officials have heard of at least one dispute between North Haven neighbors related to pickleball. The “complaining neighbor” offered to pay for sound attenuation pads, but the pickleball-playing neighbor declined the offer, he said.

“Now we have six months to pass a code solution to this pickleball issue,” Trustee Claas  Abraham said at a February board discussion.

No residents spoke at a public hearing on the moratorium before the board's vote.

In East Hampton Village, officials haven’t adopted any code changes since its moratorium. Village administrator Marcos Baladron said board members extended the moratorium by six months and likely will extend it again in May. He said other issues have taken priority.

The moratorium coincided with a lawsuit East Hampton Village faced from a couple who argued pickleball had no place in a local park. A judge dismissed the lawsuit since by then the village already had eliminated pickleball plans at Herrick Park as part of a renovation project.

Similar disputes have unfolded across Long Island, including in the Town of Oyster Bay where the municipality recently filed a lawsuit against Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich for allegedly erecting pickleball courts, among other amenities, without proper permitting. Neighbors whose homes are adjacent to the club have complained about quality-of-life problems because of the courts.

North Haven has a tennis court behind its village hall where residents also can play pickleball.

Fiore said the village plans to resurface that court with money from a federal grant. He said he also plans to propose adding $75,000 to the June 1 budget to build two pickleball courts at village hall — a safe distance from residential properties.

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