Letter To The Editor: County Should Not Proceed With Tennis Courts Project

By ELIZABETH J. CHURCH
Los Alamos
 
Twenty-two tennis courts already exist in Los Alamos. Although they are, arguably, underutilized, the county is considering a capital improvement project that would create an additional eight “championship” courts, to be located in one spot.
 
The plan also calls for a scoreboard (lighted?), parking, bleachers and restroom facilities. Nearby food vendors would be nice, too. A loudspeaker is not specified but seems reasonably predictable. Detailed information, including the four proposed sites, can be found at https://www.losalamosbondprojects2017.com/tennis-courts/.
 
Under the plan, a single unlucky neighborhood would bear the entire brunt of this project, for which – first and foremost – there appears to be no stated, objective need or supporting evidence other than a nebulous desire to host tournaments on some unspecified schedule, at some unspecified frequency.
 
The proposed site in the Western Area, in particular, is unworkable and should be avoided. That neighborhood already “hosts” a stadium and its attendant noise. Additional tennis courts would be squeezed into the small swathe of green space that remains of what was once “Mesa Meadow.” The tennis courts would sit nearly on top of (or maybe encroach upon) Mesa Meadow Pool.
 
The obvious negative impact on property values for surrounding residential properties is not mentioned in the county’s synopsis of the proposal, and little to no consideration seems to be given to the noise, traffic, influx of people and disruption that would result from holding tournaments in the middle of a quiet residential area. What price are these residents (and, frankly, residents of other proposed tennis court locations) supposed to pay for the vague “benefit” reaped by tennis enthusiasts?
 
The county should not proceed with this matter and, if it does so, it should not link a bond vote on this project with other needed, realistic recreational projects that will not destroy the peace and tranquility of established neighborhoods.
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