Stonington zoning board OKs additional paddle tennis courts for community center

Stonington — The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved an expansion of the Stonington Community Center’s popular paddle tennis facility on Cutler Street.

At its meeting on Tuesday night, the commission approved an application by the community center, better known as the COMO, to add two courts to the two that currently exist on the property that houses the center’s thrift shop.

According to a town Planning Department report, the two new courts will be located to the front and rear of the existing courts. The proposed lighting will be the same as the current courts, with court use restricted to the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Although the property is located in a flood zone, the courts are classified as accessory structures, and therefore do not have to be elevated as long as they allow for the passage of water. The new courts, however, will be 14 inches higher than the existing courts, which also are elevated. Parking remains in the thrift shop lot, main center lot and along the street.

In 2013, the COMO built the first two courts, which are connected by a deck and warming hut. The courts are often in use and players play throughout the winter.

In a letter to the commission, Kathryn Burchenal of the COMO’s Paddle Tennis Advisory Group, said the use of the courts continues to climb and currently there are more than 120 members. That actual number of people who use the courts is higher because membership numbers include families and couples.

She said clinics are held for high school students, and the courts also are used in by the COMO’s various youth programs.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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