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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Misinterpretation of Land Use Ordinances by Board of Education Could Cost Taxpayers

     There is no doubt that Kehler Stadium is wholly owned by the Westfield Board of Education and is not a park or recreation field owned by the Town of Westfield.
     There is also no doubt that the board of education does not have to apply to the town for use approval if it is not spending public money.
     That does not, in any way, give the board of education the right to abuse it's position as the land owner of Kehler Stadium.
     If the board of education were to spend public money on alterations to the property, they would have to ask for approval from the town.
     Whether or not they obtain the approval of the
town would not change their duty to the neighboring land owners.
     At no time during the public board of education meeting on Tuesday night, did their attorney state that the board could light Kehler Stadium and create noise to the detriment of the neighbors.
     Westfield Board of Education attorney Richard Kaplow was most specific in stating that he disagreed with a letter of objection submitted to him on behalf of a neighbor to Kehler Stadium, challenging the Westfield Soccer Association's proposal to light Kehler Stadium.
     That is a far cry from stating that his client, the board of education, has an absolute right to use it's property to the detriment of it's neighbors.
     Past apathy by the neighbors has allowed the board to run rampant over the neighborhood.  There should be no apathy when it comes to the board approving the Westfield Soccer Association's request to erect lights and conduct sporting events at night.
     If anybody needs any proof as to the results of apathy in the neighborhood surrounding Kehler Stadium, consider the encroachment of your peace and quiet since the construction of an artificial turf field and the alteration of the property over the years without action by the neighborhood.
     Time will tell whether or not apathy will continue. Time will tell how much it will cost the taxpayers of Westfield for the board of education to defend their position.

13 comments:

  1. Finally, an article that makes sense:

    Let's review some of your TRUE statements:

    1 - "There is also no doubt that the board of education does not have to apply to the town for use approval if it is not spending public money." - Although this didn't stop the silly "Pony Horse" article.

    2 - "At no time during the public board of education meeting on Tuesday night, did their attorney state that the board could light Kehler Stadium and create noise to the detriment of the neighbors." - Very well said!

    3 - "Westfield Board of Education attorney Richard Kaplow was most specific in stating that he disagreed with a letter of objection submitted to him on behalf of a neighbor to Kehler Stadium, challenging the Westfield Soccer Association's proposal to light Kehler Stadium. That is a far cry from stating that his client, the board of education, has an absolute right to use it's property to the detriment of it's neighbors." - Again, well said.


    Keep up the crack reporting Greggy...oh sorry, I mean TFoTM (didn't mean to neglect the full-time staff there at TFoTM).

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    Replies
    1. You obviously have difficulty deciphering the difference between satire and fact.
      Thank you for the comment.

      Delete
    2. The use of Kehler Stadium by the WSA is not the issue being questioned.
      The use of temporary lighting by the WSA at Kehler Stadium is disputable considering Westfield's land use ordinances.

      Delete
  2. So let me get this straight, if you agree with this websites reporting, it makes sense. But if you disagree with this website reporting, then it doesn't make sense? Seems like anonymous has some prejudice.

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  3. You will never know if you like it unless you try it, isn't that what we say to our kids? To say it's going to be a disaster without even trying it isn't realistic. We will all have concrete answers after this 10 week period. Good luck to all involved!

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  4. A lighted field adjacent to neighborhood homes is a disaster, period. You wouldn't want it in your neighborhood.
    We're not talking about a kid eating vegetables or trying something new.
    You'll jave concrete answers the first week.
    Judging by the opposition to a lighted turf field at Westfield High School, there's no way that the neighborhood around Kehler wants it.
    Put one in at Roosevelt and watch all the soccer moms and dads in that neighborhood cry "not in my neighborhood!"

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  5. FYI
    The second that the temporary lights are a millimeter above 15 feet in the air, they are in violation of the town's land use ordinance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wasn't it a disaster a few years ago when the Board of Ed tried that for a night football game and the student body showed up drunk and the WPD ended up making arrests at a varsity contest what would have never happened in the daylight?

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  7. Peter Franks of the Westfield Soccer Association stated, "This is a pilot program to show the town that we need more lighted turf fields."
    the town isn't the one with lack of fields to play on.
    The WSA is the private enterprise with lack of practice time on town owned fields.
    Solution: The WSA needs to build its own fields as a privately funded organization instead of turning to the board of education and bribing them to use Kehler Stadium by claiming the installation of temporary lighting will be a benefit to the high school sports programs. we all know it is not the high school sports, or the town recreation sports that have the problem of lack of fields.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make some good points regarding WSA being a private enterprise. However, I don't believe it's realisitc to say that WSA should build its own facility. As we know, there's no room and the cost is prohibitive. And I also don't think it's right to then say, "tough luck". I absoluteky agree that Westfield soccer kids (and other sports) are the primary benefactor to school fields. It would then make sense that the BoE would ask for a rental fee for these fields...thereby passing the cost to WSA and other sports who use the school fields...at an agreed to neighborly rate since this is for Westfield residents.

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  8. If Westfield fields are not available for use until April 1, then the WSA should wait until April 1. They should not be inconveniencing the neighborhood by going to the Board of Education and requesting that they be able to put up temporary lighting in order to use a Board of Education field.

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    Replies
    1. well said, too bad there was only 1 board member who had the common sense to vote against this.

      Delete