“Two things are right here: one of them is it’s clear what the council wants to do, but we are also working under a motion to close the pickleball courts,” Hall said. “I think we can wait a couple of days and get (this) straight and get that on as a special meeting.”
During the course of the discussion, councilmembers recognized the interests of pickleball players accustomed to playing at San Gorgonio, those who desired a return to tennis and residents near the park who had grown tired of hearing the noise associated with the popular courts.
Councilmember Victor Cabral said he saw a clear need for more pickleball in San Clemente, and that while the city determined how to address that need, he suggested compromising at San Gorgonio by limiting the number of hours people could play there or establishing a reservation system.
Enmeier pointed to the manner in which the council voted to close the courts at the park, expressing his understanding that the only matter on the agenda for the June vote was expediting the construction of eight courts at Richard T. Steed Memorial Park.
“That’s why we’re in this situation now, because the people didn’t get a chance to speak towards that before the motion was made,” he said.
Adding to Cabral’s suggestion, Enmeier said only four courts should be open at San Gorgonio and suggested an operating schedule of the courts being open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week.
Mayor Pro Tem Steve Knoblock spoke to what he characterized as valid concerns from nearby residents, and being cautious in seeing how play at Steed shakes out, in terms of popularity, before considering reopening play at San Gorgonio.
Councilmember Rick Loeffler suggested a 90-day break for evaluating Steed Park’s success and mentioned how the council committed to ending play at San Gorgonio, at least to some extent.
Loeffler said there was “$1.2 million (the City Council) committed, and part of that commitment was you were going to close the courts at San G.”
He went on to note that the local skating community, namely the (SC Skatepark Coalition), feels burned by the council for not honoring a long-standing commitment to expand Ralphs Skate Court at Steed.
From there, the council entered discussion on how to reestablish pickleball play at San Gorgonio.
The council’s special meeting on Thursday is scheduled for 2 p.m. with a City Council Retreat. The item concerning San Gorgonio Park is anticipated to begin at 4:30 p.m.