By Hank McCoy
After five years of complaints by residents about profanity, the city has decided to replace the basketball courts at Cypress Park with pickleball courts.
At their special meeting, Commissioner Joshua Simmons discussed complaints with regards to the removal of the basketball courts in Cypress Park and hopes to find a location in the park that isn’t next to the playground.
“At city hall, six gentlemen met me in the lobby, they let me know that they’ve tried their best over the years to police the basketball courts,” Simmons said, “Many of them had been playing basketball there since they were teens and former students of J.P. Taravella.”
The city is replacing the basketball courts with pickleball courts, and Vice Mayor Joy Carter explained that there are only two pickleball courts with a need for more due to the lines of people that wait to play.
“There are over 30 basketball courts in the city. We need to be progressive as a city in our growth and answering the residents’ needs,” Vice Mayor Carter said.
The city had spent the past five years trying to mitigate the issue. They installed a giant hedge to separate the courts from the playground, spoke with the people who frequented the courts, but the profanity didn’t cease. It’s reached the point where Vice Mayor Carter asked, “Where and what’s the best use for that property?”
The commission and city staff discussed possible locations at other parks where the courts could be moved or even possibly a different area of Cypress Park away from the playground.
“There’s no other place to put anything besides the basketball courts without removing another field or another amenity. The other issue is we have the leagues there, soccer and travel soccer plays there, softball plays there,” Commissioner Larry Vignola explained, “There is some opportunity over by Coral Glades High School at the sports complex. I think there could be enough room to add a couple more courts.”
The commission is open for other options for the location of the courts, and Mayor Scott Brook explained how he is open to discuss options further.
Commissioner Simmons explained, “You can say, go to another park, but for people whose lives have been tied to those courts and that park, I think we have a duty to go back and figure out how can we configure or move around something within that park to still allow a basketball court there.”
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