A pickleball controversy in Seaside has escalated into litigation, and now mediation.

A pickleball controversy in Seaside has escalated into litigation, and now mediation.

It might not be the first battle of the pickleball wars in Monterey County, but it’s the first one that ended up in a courtroom, and so far the score is: Pickleball players – 1; upset neighbor – 0.

The dispute is centered around pickleball play – and players – at the Wheeler Courts in Seaside, where a pilot pickleball program launched in 2020, which allowed the courts to be used for pickleball on some days of the week. Seaside City Council made that a permanent allowable use of the courts in April.

But unlike some of the other kerfuffles surrounding pickleball in neighboring cities – Monterey, Pacific Grove – this one is not about noise. For the most part, it appears to be about parking along Wheeler and Carson streets, and there is one neighbor in particular who has not taken kindly to it.

On Nov. 4, Sung Choi, whose house on Wheeler Street is just downhill from the courts, filed an application for a restraining order against Marina resident Chayo Lewis, who is among frequent pickleball players. In it, Choi alleges Lewis threatened to ram him with her vehicle, that she threatened to expose herself to him, that she directed a racial slur at him and that, after she picked a peach off a tree next to the sidewalk in front of Choi’s house – but outside his fence line – he told her not to pick fruit off the tree and that after he did so, she threatened to throw the pit at him.

Aside from picking fruit off the tree, which Lewis believes to be in the public right of way, she categorically denies all the allegations, and on Nov. 21, she filed for a restraining order against Choi, alleging he stalks and records players, and also incites arguments, “especially with women pickleball players.” It also states Choi is “very explosive.”

Whether or not her allegations are true, Choi, at a Seaside Parks and Rec Commission meeting last spring, yelled at commissioners about his grievances. The Weekly was also provided with a rage-filled voicemail Choi left last year for former Seaside councilmember Jason Campbell, berating him for approving the pickleball pilot program.

Read the complete article here.

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