Newport Beach to pick a park for pickleball

Newport Beach to pick a park for pickleball
Approval of the Bonita Canyon Sports Park pickleball courts, depicted in this rendering, will be considered by the Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday. (Courtesy of city of Newport Beach)

Newport Beach could pick up a bill for new pickleball courts to the tune of $625,000.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider awarding a contract to build the courts on the west side of Bonita Canyon Sports Park, near the MacArthur Boulevard boundary. The cost will be split, nearly in half, between the city's general fund and fees charged to developers that go toward parks and recreation enhancements.


City staff are recommending a $531,100 construction contract for La Habra-based Green Giant Landscape, plus $53,900 set aside for contingency and $40,000 for printing, surveying, testing and inspecting.

Four courts near the basketball hoops off Ford Road will give pickleball players a permanent space to enjoy the growing sport, which has similarities with tennis, badminton and table tennis.


The city had installed a temporary playing surface at San Joaquin Hills Park in 2014 by modifying a tennis court, but it impacted parking for tennis and lawn bowling, confused players with its mix of tennis and pickleball lines, and was only available in the mornings.

The city parks and recreation commission green-lighted the Bonita Canyon plans in December.

The courts could be ready by this fall.

In other agenda items Tuesday:


The council will consider amending its policy on invocations offered before meetings.

The change would allow speakers giving the opening prayer to mention specific religions or deities.

The consideration comes after a 2014 Supreme Court decision that both upheld invocations as constitutional — provided they don't denigrate, proselytize or "betray an impermissible government purpose" — and further held that governments should refrain from censoring prayer leaders by prohibiting them from referring to a specific religion or figure.

Newport's current council policy bars terms associated with a specific religion, sect or deity, and is based on older case law.

Park renamings

Ensign View Park could become John Wayne Park.

Mayor Kevin Muldoon first proposed renaming the small facility at El Modena Avenue and Cliff Drive in honor of the screen legend and former Newport resident last month.

Wayne lived in Newport Beach from the 1960s until his death in 1979, and had visited the city since the 1920s. He is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona del Mar.

Councilman Jeff Herdman is proposing to rename Balboa Island Park after Ralph Rodheim, an island resident who died earlier this year at age 72.

Rodheim was named Citizen of the Year in 2010 and was an active member of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and Balboa Village Merchants Assn. With his wife, he owned Balboa Boat Rentals in the Fun Zone for more than 25 years.

He was also an organizer of the Newport to Ensenada yacht race, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and the Balboa Yacht Club's annual Wooden Boat Festival, which he helped found in 2014.

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