Pickleball Frequently Asked Questions

Below are FAQ’s about Centennial’s Pickleball Regulations and Limited Exceptions for Pre-Existing Outdoor Permanent Pickleball Courts in the City.

General Questions

What provides the City the authority to regulate the allowed locations for, and the activity of, Pickleball?

Ordinance No. 2023-O-10 (the “Pickleball Ordinance”) was approved by City Council on September 19, 2023, which establishes how Permanent and Temporary Pickleball Courts are regulated in the City.

Why is the City regulating Pickleball?

The City is regulating Pickleball due to the unique noise impacts of the sport to residential areas in close proximity of outdoor pickleball courts. The City is aware of a number of conflicts between pickleball and adjacent residential properties evidenced by national reports and news media, as well as a number of lawsuits that have been brought to address noise impacts. According to a study prepared for the City by a national acoustics engineering expert, and other readily available information and research, outdoor pickleball noise is unlike and more impactful than noise created by other forms of outdoor recreational activities (tennis, football, passive recreation). To specifically address noise concerns and complaints from residents, the City enacted distance and noise abatement requirements for outdoor pickleball courts.

Does Ordinance No 2023-O-10 apply to private backyard, HOA and commercial pickleball courts?

Yes, Ordinance No. 2023-O-10 applies to all locations created for pickleball play including private backyards, HOA properties and commercial pickleball courts.

Are all courts subject to the Pickleball Ordinance?

No. A “permanent court,” more than 600 feet away from a residential zone district or a property used for residential purposes is not subject to the requirements of the Pickleball Ordinance. A “temporary court,” more than 600 feet away from a residential zone district or a property used for residential purposes is not subject to the requirements of the Pickleball Ordinance. The City can assist in determining whether a court is a permanent or a temporary court and whether the court is outside of these distance requirements. Please e-mail centennialplanning@centennialco.gov or call 303-754-3308 if you have questions regarding the applicability of the Pickleball Ordinance. 

What does the City do when it receives complaints or concerns regarding Pickleball Courts?

The City’s Code Enforcement team will contact the property owner who is the subject of a complaint to discuss the complaint and inspect potential violations.

The City does not anticipate closing approved pickleball courts based on single complaints, standard noise meter/phone dB measurements or without monitoring the situation.

Is the City considering changes to Ordinance No. 2023-O-10 (The Pickleball Ordinance)?

Yes, the City’s Staff is actively monitoring requests and complaints received. As of December 2023, some potential amendments to the Pickleball Ordinance are being considered to best administer the ordinance. Many of the currently considered amendments are changes in the specific language of the ordinance to better express the City’s intent regarding pickleball play.

May existing or new courts be granted a variance?

Ordinance No. 2023-O-10 does not permit variances to the rules for existing or new pickleball courts. This includes the maximum decibel level, the distance a court can be from residential and the hours of operation. The Limited Exception only exempts Pre-Existing Permanent Outdoor Pickleball Courts from the distance setbacks.

Does the City restrict equipment types (paddles/balls)?

Neither the City or Ordinance No. 2023-O-10 regulates the type of equipment used. 

Can courts that have been in use after March 21, 2023 be temporarily exempt?

Permanent Outdoor Pickleball Courts that are within 250 feet to 600 feet of a residential zone district or property used for residential purposes established after March 21, 2023 need to apply for an Outdoor Pickleball Court Permit and submit a Noise Impact Assessment demonstrating the decibel level does not exceed 47-dB at the nearest residential property line.

How can you tell if a Pickleball court produces 47 decibels if the background noise (traffic and other noise sources) is greater than 47 decibels?

The type of noise study specified in the Ordinance will measure the sound coming from the Pickleball Courts and not “count” the background noise against the court. This is important because Pickleball noise is different and more harmful at lower levels than background noise.

Limited Exceptions Questions

My pickleball court has operated for quite a while, can I apply for approval to continue pickleball play?

The Pickleball Ordinance authorizes an application process to obtain a “Limited Exception” that would allow some outdoor pickleball courts that were permanently established before the City’s regulations to continue to operate, subject to certain requirements. Not all pickleball courts will qualify.

How do I or my organization apply for a Limited Exception for Permanent Outdoor Pickleball Courts, and what documentation needs to be submitted for a Limited Exception?

All requests and documentation for Limited Exceptions should be emailed to centennialplanning@centennialco.gov. A staff member will confirm and follow up within one (1) business day of the submittal. Requests can also be mailed to or dropped off at the Civic Center, though e-mail is preferred.

The documentation should include a written request from the property owner for the pre-existing permanent outdoor pickleball courts that contains the address/location, the number or courts and when they were installed. Within that request needs to be evidence that the courts existed and were operating prior to March 21, 2023. This can be time stamped photos of the courts, aerial images of the courts or paid invoices from the contractor who stripped the courts. Written statements from residents that have been playing on the courts prior to the moratorium must also be submitted. A Noise Impact Assessment is not a required document for a Limited Exception request.

If the request is approved or denied, how will the City let me know?

The City will send a formal letter of the City’s decision to approve or deny the request for a Limited Exception for the courts described in the request. 

I would like assistance concerning my application for a Limited Exception for Permanent Outdoor Pickleball Court. Is there anyone at the City that can help me?

Yes, staff is here to answer questions. Please e-mail centennialplanning@centennialco.gov or call 303-754-3308 if you have questions. 


If not enough information was submitted for a Limited Exception request will staff reach out?

Staff will follow up via email or phone requesting more information if needed. 

How long does it take to review a Limited Exception request?

The current review period for Limited Exception requests is approximately 1-2 weeks.

May Pickleball Courts that have been granted a Limited Exception be shut down?

The City may revoke a Limited Exception that has been granted if there is tangible and credible evidence that the courts are not complying with the requirements of Ordinance No. 2023-O-10, such as expanding a pickleball court, violating the hours of operation or documented proof the maximum noise level is exceeded. A singular complaint will most likely not cause the City to shut down a lawful or exempted pickleball court.

Is there a fee associated with Limited Exception requests?

There are no fees associated with Limited Exception requests.