SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Lighting at athletic fields in Southlake — it’s been the topic of a months long, heated debate. Tuesday night, or rather early Wednesday morning, city leaders made a final decision.
During a Southlake city council meeting members voted 7-0 to approve the lighting variance application allowing lights to be installed at the Carroll ISD Senior High School baseball/softball fields.
The Tuesday evening Southlake City Council meeting didn’t end until 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Dozens of people, for and against the lights, were given the opportunity to address the council during the public comment session of the meeting.
Carroll ISD officials were requesting that six 60-foot light poles be installed on the softball field and that lights, ranging from 70 to 90 feet high, be installed on the baseball field. The variance now allows the district to exceed a city ordinance that limits how bright lights can shine.
Some residents in surrounding neighborhoods not only had issue with the lights being installed and how bright they would be, but felt those issues and the late-night crowds in the area would negatively impact property values.
The school district, athletes, parents, and homeowners had been battling the pros and cons for months. In December 2012, the board of trustees voted to install lights on an undetermined Carroll ISD campus. In December another vote selected Carroll Senior High as the location.
Not only did residents and school officials disagree on the lights proposal, there were proponents and opponents within the municipality. Just two weeks ago the Southlake Planning and Zoning Committee voted down a request to install the lights.
Despite the disaccord Carroll ISD administrators were banking on getting approval on the variance. Monday night the board of trustees approved plans to spend $100,000 to plant trees and shrubs between the lights and surrounding homes – to help block the light. They also set a limit of 25 games, plus playoffs, for which the lights would be on. That proposed $100K expenditure is in addition to the estimated $330,000 cost for the lights themselves.
Wednesday morning, the Carroll ISD School Board called a special meeting to consider a contract on the lighted field project. It will be held at Noon on January 17.
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