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Private Tennis on Public Courts OK

But a new recreation ordinance approved by the Barrington Town Council sets several restrictive conditions.

Private tennis instructors can still use Barrington’s public courts – with some new conditions.

The Town Council approved unanimously last Monday an ordinance that mandates getting an authorization from the Recreation Department to use the courts and conforming to the town’s land-use policy. Instuctors also will have to pay a fee.

The Town Council was considering banning private instructors from using the public courts as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission and as it seemed intent on doing with the creation of an ordinance that got a public hearing last Monday evening.

The vote was unanimous, 5-0, after about 30 minutes of give and take with two representatives from the Barrington Newcomers Club and John Taylor, recreation director, who was seeking more control over the tennis courts.

The Newcomers Club offers tennis lessons and tennis cardio-fusion classes with tennis pros on the public courts during the warm weather. It opposed the original ordinance because it would have chased them away unless they created a link to the Recreation Department.

Taylor also said that the more restrictive ordinance was suggested primarily because of one tennis instructor who has been using the courts at Chianese Field for hours at a time. His use was preventing local residents from using the courts.

The town’s recreation ordinance already sets limits on court use – one hour for singles players and 90 minutes for doubles players if other players are waiting to play. Signs at the courts detail the guidelines.

Barrington has public courts at the high school, the middle school, Chianese Park and on Kent Street. See a separate story in the Barrington Times.

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