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Pro pickleball player Abbie Brooks holds her daughter Kinsley as she warms up on a court. The Venice City Council will discuss a community controversy involving a proposed pickleball court in Venetian Golf & River Club.

VENICE — Pickleball — more accurately, the proposed location of four pickleball courts — has driven a wedge between residents of Venetian Golf & River Club.

The City Council gets involved next week.

The Community Development District for the subdivision approved the construction of the courts, along with a dog park, on a Florida Power & Light easement near the entrance.

Residents enjoy the sport, new developments have courts and the easement is the only possible site because the community is built out, proponents say.

But more than 160 residents have signed a petition opposing the site, saying that it’s dangerous and the noise from it would affect the quality of life of nearby property owners and lower their property values.

They’re not opposed to pickleball itself, the petition says, and they would be OK with courts located near the community’s tennis courts or golf course.

The decision to build four courts instead of two or three is what disqualified the tennis court area, where restrooms would be available. The developer vetoed using any part of the golf course parking lot, another potential site.

It’s a matter for the city because the project requires an amendment to the VGRC planned- unit development and a site-and-development plan, which the Planning Commission rejected.

The Council will consider the CDD’s petition to amend the planned-unit development and hear an appeal of the Planning Commission’s rejection of the site-and-development plan.

Other business

Also on Tuesday the Council is scheduled to:


• Vote on annexation, comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning ordinances for 500 R&F Ranch Road.

• Hear first reading of an ordinance updating the Five-Year Capital Improvement Schedule and Long-Range Schedule of Capital Projects.

• Consider a resolution to join with the state and other local governments as a participant the settlement of Florida’s suit against opiod manufacturer Purdue Pharma and other parties.

• Discuss meeting protocols regarding COVID-19.

• Vote on a budget amendment.

• Consider accepting the developer’s completion and payment bond and open space restriction and covenant and approving the Palencia final plat.

• Consider approving a lease amendment with Horizon 880 LLC.

• Join the Historic Preservation Board in honoring Bertha Honore Palmer and the Kentucky Military Institute Alumni Association and the Venice Center Homeowners Association with Venice Legacy awards.

• Proclaim May 2021 as “National Preservation Month.”

• Proclaim May 16-22, 2021, as “National Emergency Medical Services Week” and “National Public Works Week.”

The City Council meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, in Council Chambers and virtually. The complete agenda, including instructions on connecting to the meeting, is at VeniceGov.com under the “Meetings” header.

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