Pickleball courts planned for Rutenberg Park bring excitement, frustration to nearby residents

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Rutenburg Park pickleball court concept. (Credit: Lee County)

A building in Rutenberg Park is coming down, and in its place will be new pickleball courts. Lee County plans to put eight pickleball courts where the building stands now.

Lee County plans to remove the building in the northeast corner of the park near the pond.

“It’s a little more like ping pong for adults or for older people,” said Lawrence Maltese of Fort Myers to describe pickleball.

Maltese is in favor of the new pickleball courts being built, but Cindy Spangenberg does not want them. She said she just found out about the pickleball plan. “I mean, I’m not trying to sound negative here. But for these people in this area, you know, once that building goes up, or those courts go up, that’s a hard battle to fight,” said Spangenberg.

Lee County announced its plan for the park almost two years ago. Spangenberg said that may be, but that won’t stop her from demanding a change and hoping for a compromise.

“It would be nice, like, again, if they could do something to help out, maybe have a little a center, and I would even be willing to volunteer some of my time if they needed to help with that. You know, so I’m not trying to make this into a bad thing. I just want it to be a people to be aware,” Spangenberg said.

Maltese said he doesn’t think the noise is an issue at all.Β “If there was a pickleball game right here, we wouldn’t be able to hear each other. But if you’re 100 yards away, I think you’re okay.”

Lee County hopes to knock down the building and install the pickleball courts by spring of 2023.

WINK News asked Lee County if they might consider installing a sound barrier of some sort in Rutenberg Park. A spokesperson said she had no information on that at this time.

Below is a concept for the pickleball courts.

(Credit: Lee County)

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