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Ursuline Academy Fights For Lighted Soccer Field

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dozens and dozens of people filed into Dallas City Hall Thursday. Each was there with a request – some favoring, some resisting Ursuline Academy’s plans for a lighted soccer field.

The Catholic girl’s school has been pleading for years for the okay to build the field. The last time they brought the issue to City Hall was about a dozen years ago and they were rejected – voted down.

This time, the school presented a scaled down version of the plan to the city’s Planning and Zoning committee who ended up approving it, 14 to 1.

Now, the matter will go before the full City Council for a vote, who will likely hear the same arguments presented Thursday.

One man told the committee, “Ursuline is a good neighbor and their championship soccer team has earned the right to play and practice on campus.”

No one doubts Ursuline deserves a soccer field. Their soccer team has won 22 consecutive state titles.

The question is where that field should be. Ursuline wants it next to its campus at Walnut Hill and Inwood.

One of the neighbors who stood up to speak at the Planning and Zoning meeting asked committee members, “Is there a compelling reason to change the character of this old Preston Hollow neighborhood? It’s been very stable. Very quiet. Very endearing,”

Another neighbor told the committee, “Building this field is going to fundamentally change our neighborhood for the worse not the better.”

The field would need lights. Ursuline is asking for eight of them on 45 foot poles. Lights, they say, on other fields are much higher.

There would be no concession stands and no restrooms, just Bleachers for 50 people.

An Ursuline supporter told the committee, “Please vote in support of the development of the  management of an occasionally lit field, rather than leaving an unattractive empty lot.”

Ursuline says the lights would be off by 9 o’clock on weeknights. They wouldn’t even be on during the weekends.

Planning and Zoning liked the plan and approved it. Now it goes to the full city council for a vote. No date has been set yet.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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