Mission Woods mayor in fight with Johnson County country club over noisy pickleball courts

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Mission Woods Mayor Darrell Franklin is one of the plaintiffs listed in a petition asking that a court order a nearby country club to move its pickleball courts further from his home, saying the noise is causing him and his wife emotional distress.

Franklin, along with his wife Laurie, filed the petition earlier this month in Johnson County District Court, accusing Mission Hills Country Club of disrupting the serenity of their neighborhood by adding pickleball to their club.

Johnson County Election Office records show that Mayor Franklin lives at the address listed in the petition. Franklin could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Darrell Franklin, currently serving his third term as mayor of Mission Woods, in court fillings described the neighborhood, which abuts the country club, as a quiet area.

“The tranquil and peaceful environment reasonably expected by Darrell and Laurie is severely disturbed when pickleball is regularly played at the four pickleball courts,” he and his wife said in court records.

The petition alleges the “popping” sound of pickleball in play “makes it difficult to relax, concentrate, or sleep soundly” and has driven Laurie Franklin to wear noise canceling headphones while doing yard work.

They claim the courts have caused them stress, sleep disruption and anxiety, and are asking a judge to order the country club to move the courts at least 500 or 600 feet from any homes.

The club in a letter sent to members last week clarified that it first converted a court for pickleball in 2017.

The letter, a copy of which was provided to The Star by Brendan McPherson, an attorney at Polsinelli who is representing the club, added that the Franklins are not members of the club.

Before the petition was filed, club leaders wrote, several changes were made to “lessen the impact of pickleball play on the club’s neighbors.”

This included the installation of an acoustic barrier which reduces sound; they also limited the pickleball hours to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The letter ended by saying that the club’s board of directors and the Polsinelli law firm were planning a “vigorous defense” to the petition.

Darrell Franklin has lived in Mission Woods since 1997, according to the city website. He previously served as mayor in 2009-2011, and was elected again in 2019 and re-elected in 2021. He has also spent three terms on the city council.

“In addition to serving on the council, Laurie and I have both been active in planning social activities held by our Homes Association,” the city website reads. “We have all chosen to live in Mission Woods because of the desirability of neighborhood and location. Let’s work together to be proactive and make our city the best it can be.”

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