Like volleys back and forth across the net, the issue of lighted tennis courts is being served up again for the Lawrence City Commission.
The Lawrence Tennis Association is urging commissioners to rethink a previous decision and consider lighting eight courts at the tennis center near Lawrence High School. It’ll be on the agenda at a future meeting.
Previously, the commission had agreed with neighbors not to have lights on those courts and, instead, committed to spend $640,000 on eight new lighted courts to be located at the Rock Chalk Park.
As background, renovations at Lawrence High caused the city to lose eight lighted tennis courts several years ago. The school rebuilt the courts in a new location, and the city was going to provide the lights, but when time came to add them, neighbors voiced concerns about light from the courts spilling onto their property and the city agreed with them.
Neighborhood issues also derailed an earlier hoped-for compromise to put lights on courts at Free State High School. Now, the Rock Chalk Park appears to offer a solution that will not involve any neighborhood controversy. Noise and lights will not cause disturbances, and restrooms, parking and other facilities will be available without provoking contention between those who want peace and quiet and tennis buffs who want to play after work and after dark — up to 350 days a year, it has been estimated.
It’s not as if there are no other lighted courts available. Holcom, Lyons and Veterans parks all provide lighted playing surfaces, and still others available to Lawrence residents exist at Kansas University and elsewhere in the community.
For the most part, it seems as if tennis players are accommodated, although league competitions are not. The new facilities at Rock Chalk should adequately address those needs.
The homeowners and residents around Lawrence High School are entitled to the consideration they’re seeking. The issue appeared to have been settled earlier and there’s no need to keep revisiting this matter.