$1 million appropriated for pickleball courts project planned at Twin Lakes Park

County document shows initiative anticipated to be completed by start of 2026 fiscal year

This is a map showing the layout of Twin Lakes Park at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On a unanimous vote this week, the Sarasota County Commission to approve the appropriation of $1 million for new pickleball courts at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road in Sarasota.

The item was listed as a Presentation Upon Request on the March 5 agenda, but no board member asked for staff comments, and no one had signed up to address the commissioners. It took longer for Chair Michael Moran to read the agenda item into the record than it took for Commissioner Mark Smith to make a motion to approve the funding, followed by Commissioner Ron Cutsinger’s seconding it and then the board vote.

As a county staff memo in the agenda packet explained, “On April 20, 2021, the County Commission approved the North County Athletic Facilities Master Plan,” which included a preliminary analysis and conceptual plans for four sites: the 17th Street Park, the Fruitville

Park, the Youth Athletic Complex, and Twin Lakes Park.

“The conceptual plan for Twin Lakes Park proposes the addition of pickleball courts adjacent to the existing tennis courts at the park,” which stands at 6700 Clark Road, the memo noted. “The pickleball improvement project includes design and construction of six lighted pickleball courts, fencing, a shade structure, accessible pedestrian connections, and associated amenities,” the memo continued. “This project also includes potential lighting for the existing tennis courts.”

The location of the tennis courts and the proposed pickleball courts  is near the site of the planned multi-purpose building, the memo said. That structure will be part of the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Administration Facility that the commissioners have agreed to include on the park property, as The Sarasota News Leader has reported.

That multi-purpose building will have restrooms available for park visitors to use via an external entrance, the memo indicated.

“Construction of new pickleball courts would continue to advance the department’s effort toward increasing the number of pickleball courts to help meet the demand and also to provide separate dedicated courts for pickleball and for tennis,” the memo pointed out.
Twin Lakes Park is centrally located in the county, “with access to major roads and Interstate 75,” the memo added.

Funding for the pickleball courts will come out of both North County and South County Park Impact Fee revenue, the memo said. “Staff will work with [the] Capital Projects and Procurement [departments] to procure a design and construction contractor for the project,” the memo noted.

This graphic shows the proposed location of the new pickleball courts at Twin Lakes Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The document regarding the initiative’s inclusion in the county’s Capital improvement Program for fiscal years 2025 through 2029 points out, “Twin Lakes Park … offers a variety of both active and passive recreational opportunities including youth athletic fields, a playground, two tennis courts, racquetball courts, picnic pavilions, and walking trails.”

That document shows the anticipated expense of operating the new courts would be $16,000 per year from the 2026 through 2029 fiscal years.