Temporary lighting discussed at P&Z
Published 1:06 am, Friday, July 30, 2010
The Darien Junior Football League requested a special permit application for installing three temporary lights at Holahan Field to be used during weekday practices.
The lights, which would be run by diesel generators, would be portable so they could be moved in order to accommodate any concerns from residents on adjacent properties. Lights Committee Chairman Guy Wisinski told the Planning and Zoning Commission the lights would only be used for weekday practices starting on Oct. 11 and ending no later than Nov. 19 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wisinski reassured the commission there would be a great deal of oversight with the use of the lights.
"We can't always satisfy everybody, but we got very favorable responses from most of the neighbors," Wisinski said in response to the previous year's usage of the lights.
RTM member John Sini, who spoke on behalf of the DJFL, said the league had complied with everything in the 2009 resolution.
P&Z Commission members expressed concern with the noise generated by the diesel generators and asked whether it would be possible to get electrical lights instead. Wisinski told the commission he tried contacting a number of sources to see about getting power run from Town Hall, but was notified Town Hall didn't have enough power to even run the generators.
One estimate Wisinski received for having power installed on the field was about $7,000 dollars, but Wisinski cautioned the estimate could run "three times that amount."
During the course of the 2009 season, Wisinski said there was only one neighbor who was not in favor of the lights.
"Overall we were cautious, but frankly it went very well," Wisinksi said about the lights. "We're under-financed; everything is based around safety and it made a big difference. We had the most kids playing football in a season."
Chairman Fred Conze asked where the nearest pole was that the league could pull power from. Sini believed St. John's would be the closest.
Bob Brown, President of Hygenix, discussed a few options to lessen the noise from the lights.
"There are two ways to attenuate noise from the generators: increase the distance to the receptors or put in shielding using a heavy panel," Brown said.
Both options would be more economical and practical than installing electrical lights, he said.
Selectman Callie Sullivan spoke for the BOS, stating that the board's unanimously support for the lights at Holahan Field.
Sini also requested a special permit to be allowed to use the six portable lights at the Darien High School Stadium Field for DJFL practices. Sini believed the current resolution was too convoluted and told the commission the lights couldn't be turned on and off just by flipping a switch. All activity on the field would end by 7 p.m.
Walter Raleigh, one of the few Darien residents at the public hearing, said the lights were in violation of the resolution.
"I suggest before a multi-year permit is granted, we try and eliminate the resolution violations from direct and reflected light," Raleigh said.
The number of athletes on the field after 5:30 p.m. should also be limited as sensitivity to light and noise increases later in the evening, Raleigh said.