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H.B. looking for places to add more pickleball courts

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA., AUGUST 24, 2013 - Nancy Bendel, left, and her partner Diane Farrell play a ga
Teams play a game of pickleball at Worthy Park in Huntington Beach. The Community Services Commission will research where the city could provide more pickleball courts.
(File Photo)

The pickleball is now in the court of the Huntington Beach Community Services Commission.

On a 6-0 vote Monday night, the City Council directed the commission to research where the city could provide more pickleball courts for residents. Mayor Mike Posey was absent.

Staff will look at local parks and school districts for potential opportunities.

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net.

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Several pickleball players spoke for about an hour Monday, urging the council to act. They told of how the sport has helped foster friendship among people of all ages.

The city currently offers four pickleball courts at Worthy Park. Each August, Surf City Pickleball presents a tournament sanctioned by the USA Pickleball Assn. that draws more than 200 players.

Downtown business group remains as is

In other business Monday, the council denied requests from some businesses to modify the boundaries of the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District, a public-private partnership that aims to enhance the downtown area.

Tenants of the Pacific City commercial center, the Pasea Hotel & Spa and the Hilton and Hyatt waterfront hotels — all of which are on Pacific Coast Highway — said in letters to the council that they wanted to opt out of the group. The Pacific City tenants said the BID’s social media marketing, holiday decor and events such as the weekly Surf City Nights street fair are specific to the Main Street area and that they have not seen “immediate impacts” since they’ve been part of the group.

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The council voted 4-1 to keep the existing BID boundaries. Councilman Patrick Brenden dissented, saying changing the map would “purify” the group’s vision and make it easier to focus on Main Street.

Councilman Billy O’Connell recused himself because of his downtown business interests.

If the businesses in question were removed from the downtown group, it would lose $33,220 in annual revenue because all members pay dues, according to a city staff report.

“If Main Street isn’t successful, then the entire area suffers,” Councilwoman Jill Hardy said. “That’s why the BID was set up as it was to include places that might not participate in Tuesday night street fair but draw people into town Tuesday night.”

Mayor Pro Tem Erik Peterson said he wanted to give the BID’s new leadership a chance.

“They’ve been working hard to do a lot of improvements,” Peterson said. “If in a year it doesn’t work out, we can readjust. I think they’re going in the right direction. They’re very active. They’re talking with businesses. They need to reach out to the hotels.”

BID President Matt Peterson could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

The council will hold a public hearing Sept. 17 on the BID’s boundary map and annual resolution of intention and assessment formula for businesses.

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Priscella.Vega@latimes.com

Twitter: @vegapriscella


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