By Jeff Paul

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KELLER (CBS11) – A newly proposed 27 acre, 35 court tennis facility is causing controversy in Keller after the owners of proposed site filed for an amendment to allow two, large bubble domes on the property.

“The Birch” is planned where the Rocky Top Ranch currently sits near Johnson Road and Keller Smithfield Road.

Some residents feel the bubble could greatly impact their lifestyle and home values.

“The best way to describe it is like a huge blimp lying on the ground,” said Brian Campbell, a Keller resident.

Campbell and resident Matt Shaltry already had concerns about traffic and noise when the Keller City Council approved the tennis-plex back in November. The bubble makes the situation even worse in their minds.

“If they’re allowed to do it, why wouldn’t anyone else be allowed to do it? Why couldn’t my neighbor put in a bubble dome?” questioned Shaltry.

screen shot 2017 04 03 at 9 42 52 pm Controversy Bubbles Up Over Tennis Proposal In Keller

Bubble dome opposition (Jeff Paul – CBS11)

Some residents have now put up signs in their yards expression their distaste for the bubble and a petition has now began to circulate online.

“People researching to buy homes are going to look at the neighborhood and they’re going to see these domes and say, ‘what the heck? I don’t want to have that in my backyard,’” said Campbell.

Former tennis pro Taylor Dent is behind the new facility. He said the bubbles are common for indoor tennis as opposed to traditional brick and mortar buildings.

“The bank certainly sees indoor courts as enticing,” said Dent. “I mean in this area here, it’s probably the number one thing tennis players demand the most.”

After hearing concerns, Dent said they moved the bubbles to the middle of the site and he feels trees will help conceal the 43-foot tall bubble.

“At this stage, we feel we’ve addressed their concerns extremely well,” said Dent.

Campbell and Shaltry disagree and said as it is planned, no amount of trees will hide the facility.

“We’re not trying to say we’re against tennis,” said Shaltry. “We’re saying no to the bubble dome.”

The Keller City Council will vote on the bubble amendment at the next meeting, Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

Since there was so much opposition from the nearby neighbors on the record, it will require a super majority, six out of seven votes, to pass.

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