West University Place City Council passed an ordinance during a meeting Aug. 8 intended to limit public recreational facility use by non-city-affiliated for-profit trainers.

Council passed the ordinance during its first reading July 25 but revisited the decision following pushback from West University residents.

The ordinance amends the West University Place Parks and Recreation Department’s regulations on commercial activity within the city’s parks, requiring prior consent from the city.

Consent for some means entering into a contract with the city, such as for tennis trainer Dexter Gutierrez.

“I definitely understand why [City Council] want[s] to put the ordinance in place; it’s been unchecked for the longest time, so people can abuse it pretty easily,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez described contacting the city to register and receiving a contract outlining a deal between the city and trainers.

“In that contract, it said that the coach would take 60% of lesson fees, and the city would take 40%, and that was very surprising to me,” he said.

During the Aug. 8 meeting, Parks Director Susan White said contracts with the city are negotiable.

“That is typically our starting percentage point within our recreational indoor facilities,” White said at the meeting.

The ordinance came to prominence following the introduction of pickleball to the tennis courts and the city’s desire to have more court time open to residents, Council Member John Montgomery said at the meeting.

“Because of the abuse of some of the other coaches, it feels like I’m getting caught in the crossfire. I understand they have to solve that problem, but I don’t know if what they’re doing right now is the best way to solve it,” Gutierrez said.