How Leawood plans to regulate pickleball noise in neighborhoods

Leawood pickleball

Following resident complaints, the Leawood Planning Commission has approved new guidelines for private sports courts. File photo via Shutterstock.

Leawood residents looking to build private sports courts in their backyard have new requirements to keep in mind.

At last week’s meeting, the Leawood Planning Commission approved an amendment to the city’s development ordinance adding new guidelines to the approval process for building new tennis or pickleball courts.

Complaints about pickleball noise led to this

  • The amendment follows multiple planning commission work sessions after residents began raising concerns about noise and bright lights coming from residential pickle ball courts last year.
  • The city explored several ways of addressing the problem, such as cutting back permitted court lighting hours and raising the minimum distance from neighboring property lines.
  • Before last week’s change, residential sports courts — both tennis and pickle ball — already required a special use permit if they had lighting.

The city now wants to require neighbor notification

  • The amendment approved last week requires residents to notify any neighbors by mail within 200 feet that they want to build a sports court.
  • It also requires the court to be screened from neighbors by evergreen landscaping.
  • The midpoint of the court must also now be closer to the owner’s house than to any neighbor’s houses, with a minimum setback of 20 feet from all property lines.

The commission unanimously approved the new rules

  • That means the amendment heads next to the Leawood City Council for approval.
  • The city council will take it up for review at a later meeting.
  • If approved by the city council, then sports courts both with and without lighting will be subject to the new requirements.

Go deeper: Leawood may tighten rules over backyard sports courts following pickleball complaints