Silver Spring Country Club drops paddle tennis expansion plans

Silver Spring Country Club has dropped an application to expand its paddle tennis season.

The club withdrew before a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 15.

The club’s application called for the paddle season to run from Sept. 15 through the last day of March.

The season currently runs from mid-October through the last day in February.

The club also asked to add sound-suppressing material to the court fences, according to the club’s application. A sound engineer for the club claimed the material would cut about three-quarters of the decibel level of noise heard by neighbors.

“On behalf of the applicants I hereby withdraw the above referenced application. We were simply unable to assemble the supplemental application materials within the statutory timeframe of the current application,” attorney Bob Jewell wrote in a letter to the commission.

“I apologize for any inconvenience, and we look forward to a possible resubmission in the future,” Jewell added — not ruling out the possibility that the club would return with a new application.

At the application’s last public hearing, Feb. 20, the planners asked the club to provide documentation that compared the effectiveness of the sound-deadening material it proposed with a sound-deadening wall.

Back to the drawing board

Richard Baldelli, the town’s planning and zoning director, said a new application would likely have to come in by early summer, if the club hopes to have an approval in time for the proposed Sept. 15 season opening.

“I’m very confident that the commission would have a public hearing on any other proposals they would have,” he said.

The general manager of Silver Spring Country Club could not be reached for comment for this article.

The withdrawal comes in the midst of a public uproar from neighbors, who claimed the courts are already noisy and disruptive late into the evening.

Disturbing the neighbors

Rich Steinhart, who lives on Country Club Road near Silver Spring Country Club, said last week that the neighbors are concerned with foul language from players at the courts.

“I think that the status quo is unacceptable,” Steinhart told The Press Monday, May 14, after the application was removed.

He said he first heard about the application being dropped on Friday, May 11, in the late afternoon, in an email from the Planning and Zoning office. He said he also received an email on Sunday, May 13, from Silver Spring Country Club stating that the club had withdrawn the application.

The email did not say why the club withdrew, Steinhart said.

“I just hope that they move the courts to a more central location where they won’t disturb their neighbors,” he added.

He previously told The Press he had prepared recordings of the noise from paddle players to share at the Tuesday night meeting.

“I’m just asking them to be good neighbors,” Steinhart said on May 8, adding, “If you’re going to yell and scream, do it in the middle of your property, where you’re not going to disturb your neighbors.”

The Planning and Zoning office canceled the Tuesday night meeting, since the continued hearing on the paddle courts was the only item on the meeting agenda.