City Council Action Opens Door for Pickleball Court Expansion

Following a unanimous decision by the Santa Rosa City Council to approve a zoning-related amendment, Oakmont moved yet another step closer on May 21 to gaining more pickleball courts here.

The most recent action gives OVA the ability to make minor land use decisions. Until now, OVA was bound by restrictions in the Planned Development Policy Statement that has remained unchanged since its inception in 1963.

The Council’s action means OVA no longer has to pursue an expensive and cumbersome conditional use permit process to make simple local land use decisions. For example, OVA could not erect a basketball hoop, dual-stripe outdoor sports courts or move a horseshoe pit without seeking Council approval.

Now OVA is free to address changing conditions, such as increased or decreased demand for certain facilities, and better manage its outdoor resources.

OPC members are hopeful that OVA can finally review conditions and data related to the rapidly growing sport and its popularity among seniors.

OPC will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses here in Oakmont and will work to further the interests of its nearly 200 members.


“We don’t care how the need for more courts gets handled,” said OPC president Tim Smith, who noted that the club is keenly focused on gaining more pickleball facilities in Oakmont. “They can build more, convert other courts or set up court-sharing—as long as more Oakmonters can play when they want to play.”

Smith explained that it is not unusual for more than 40 members to be playing or lined up waiting during popular morning open play time.