SOUTH FAYETTE — The South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners unanimously rejected a proposal Wednesday night that would have brought a pickleball facility to Mayview Road.
The reason? Not animosity to the fast-growing sport that’s a cousin of tennis, but the fact the zoning designation for the 8-acre slice of property would have had to have been changed from residential to industrial in order for the structure to have been built. Members of the board argued changing the site’s zoning classification for the pickleball facility would have potentially opened the door for uses that would not have been appropriate for the area.
Ashley Everman, a resident who lives nearby, expressed concerns over the developers’ ability to bankroll the proposed pickleball facility over the long term.
“What can we do?” she said. “This is not going to solve our tax issues.”
The proposal was being spearheaded by Wayne Dollard, a Peters Township resident who edits a magazine that focuses on pickleball. He said there was a demand in the township for pickleball, and that he and fellow pickleball enthusiasts who wanted to build the facilty were “not out to make money. We’re not out to make a profit on it. It’s not about money.”
But most residents who spoke up in a public hearing agreed with Everman.
“We need to put the brakes on this project and see if this is good for this community,” said resident Dale Reis. “Let’s not rubber stamp everything here. We need to slow down and look at what we’re doing.”
One resident did voice support for the facility, however. Jennifer Polasky said the township needed more commercial development to lower the tax burden on homeowners and that Dollard was “not trying to put a steel mill there.”