Motion fails for Keller tennis court bubble enclosures

All the plans seem to be in place for a new sports complex on a vacant piece of land in Keller. But a recent change had some neighbors upset and ultimately led to the city council voting to deny it.

Several residents went to city council Tuesday night to oppose it before a vote. The change: tennis court enclosures that look like bubbles.

By the numbers, there appeared to be more people at the city council in support of the bubbles than against.

The facility promises to cater to a growing population of tennis enthusiasts in the area, but some just don't like the look of it.

Donald White loves his backyard view of the Rocky Top Ranch off of Keller Smithfield Road and can't imagine one day looking at indoor tennis courts or, as residents call them, bubbles.

"But then to look out my living room window and see gray or white bubbles back behind my house? I think I'd rather look at houses,” he said.

Residents packed city hall to voice both support and opposition to the bubble enclosures.

The indoor courts are part of a private tennis club and training facility called The Birch, the dream of tennis pro Taylor Dent.

"Putting the bubble in the center of the facility is really very far away from most of the homes,” he said. “We're talking as far as it possibly could be on a 27-acre piece of property."

The plans call for a clubhouse, 35 tennis courts and dorms where the students would stay. The facility itself is a done deal approved by the city back in November. But it wasn't until Dent decided to add the two bubbles that residents complained.

But not everyone is anti-bubble. Rich and Andrea Stoller, who live across the street, think it's a great idea.

"We need something in Keller that's better than just more houses,” Rich said. “So to us, it's a great contribution to the community, and we'd like to see it here."

The city council voted 5-3 to not approve the bubble enclosures.