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Monday, March 23, 2015

Let the "Night" Games Begin: Board of Education Allows WSA Lights at Kehler Stadium


     The Westfield Soccer Association took delivery of four portable light towers at Kehler Stadium this afternoon to light up Kehler Stadium for the next 10 weeks.  The generators and lights will run until 9:45 pm., Monday - Friday.
     By 7:30pm, the lights were raised and the generators were fired up and running.  The raised lights exceeded Westfield's Land Use Ordinance restriction of 15 feet.
     While no soccer practice took place tonight, the WSA spent most of the evening testing the lights and attempting to position them where they'd be less intrusive to neighboring homes.  Only time will tell if they are successful.
     The following photos were all taken between 8pm. and 8:30pm without the use of a flash camera.
     Houses on Grove St., Westfield Ave., Beechwood Pl., Everson Pl., Rahway Ave., and Washington St. were illuminated by the lights.
     The sound from the diesel generators echoed off the metal bleachers and could be heard from 150 ft. away while an odor of diesel fuel permeated the air along the Rahway Ave. side of the stadium.

PLAY VIDEO (on laptop or home computer) TO HEAR LIGHTING GENERATORS THAT SOME BOE MEMBERS DESCRIBED AS "QUIET," WHILE ONE RESIDENT STATED THE GENERATORS SOUND LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN.

video

Rear yard of Grove St. residence

Light in NE corner of field that lights up Grove St. residences

Rear yard of residence on corner of Grove St. & Westfield Ave.

Westfield Ave. at Beechwood Pl.

Light in NW corner of field that lights up Beechwood Pl.

Corner residence of Beechwood Pl. & Westfield Ave.

Parking lot of Lincoln School facing Westfield Ave. & Beechwood Pl.
Corner residence of Everson Pl. & Westfield Ave.

Picture taken from front yard of Everson Pl.

6 comments:

  1. There has to be a better solution. This has the makings of a disaster. Changes quality of life around the field.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Franks of the Westfield Soccer Association stated that the goal of this pilot program is to prove to the Town of Westfield and its officials, that Westfield needs more lighted turf fields. The WSA was unable to obtain the desired number of training hours at Sid Fey/Houlihan fields on Lambertsmill Rd., fields owned by the Town of Westfield, so they knocked on the door of the Board of Education and requested use of Kehler Stadium. One problem, the only time it's available is after high school sports have ended practice and darkness sets in, hence the request to use lights.
      Attempts to light Kehler Stadium have been opposed before as was the Board of Education's attempt to install a lighted turf field at Westfield High School.
      Neighborhoods don't want it for obvious reasons.
      Time for the WSA to either wait until April 1st, when town owned fields are available, lease out of town fields, or open up their wallets and build one for their own personal use.
      The question will still remain.....where? The answer will always remain the same.....not in my backyard, not in my front yard, or even, not in my side-yard and definitely not in a residential neighborhood.

      Delete
  2. If I'm correct, doesn't the Westfield Police have a device to measure the audible decibels at block parties and house parties to see if they are in noise ordinance violations? Can't that be used at the field house?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely, it can. However, the use of machinery/generator run lights is prohibited between 8pm and 8am. Sunday - Friday on private property. The height of the lights (25ft.) is 10 feet over land use ordinance regulations and the light spill from the lights, into/onto neighboring properties is a violation. These land use ordinance violations will likely end up in court. The stadium is located in a residential area designated by ordinance and subjected to the same ordinances as any other land owner.

      Delete
    2. No, they don't have any such device.

      Delete
    3. The Board of Health has such a device. In the late 90's a summons was issued to a resident on Clarence St. for playing loud music outdoors, poolside. A complaint had been received by the police from a neighbor, the police responded, the music was not turned down, a summons was issued. The resident contested the summons with his attorney, and won. The summons was dismissed in court. The police had no way of measuring the decibel level.
      The Board of Health now has a decibel meter, not the police department for such complaints.

      Delete