Archive for Friday, January 28, 2011

Neighbors volley concerns about lighted tennis courts near Lawrence High School

Lawrence resident Mark Gridley shares his views on a proposal to install recreational lighting for tennis courts near Lawrence Virtual School. Gridley was one of about 75 people who attended a public meeting regarding the issue Thursday evening.

January 28, 2011

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A meeting about light turned up some heavy discussion Thursday evening in the cafeteria of Lawrence High School, 1901 La.

Seventy-five members of the tennis community and the neighborhood attended in hopes of voicing their opinions on a proposal that would bring recreational lights to the tennis courts near the Lawrence Virtual School off Greever Terrace.

The lights have become a hot-button issue. Members in support of the proposal want more lighted courts, while residents in opposition worry the lights will decrease property values and disrupt normally peaceful evenings with excessive light and noise.

Representatives from Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department briefly discussed the issues before opening the floor to questions and concerns. Lawrence resident Mark Gridley spoke his mind in front of the crowd, receiving many nods of approval from those listening intently.

“The neighborhood association has been burned over and over with the promise of expensive lighting,” Gridley said. “Then up goes the cheap lighting, the spill goes everywhere and it’s too late. It’s already up.”

Gridley said he felt the lights from the courts, which would turn off at 10 p.m., would keep residents from sleeping and pollute the view of the stars.

According to the Parks and Recreation Department, Lawrence has seven lighted and 15 unlighted courts available. In 2009, the numbers were reversed before construction moved eight of the courts from LHS to their current Greever Terrace location. The lack of lighted tennis facilities has limited the time and number of league and tournament activities the local tennis community has been able to provide.

“It’s one of the classy sports,” said Kay Pettit, a zoning and codes officer. “The problem isn’t a lack of courts, it’s a lack of lighted courts.”

Resident and tennis enthusiast Jon Giullian attended the public meeting.

“I try to sympathize with the neighbors,” Giullian said. “I try to put myself in their place. If it was my neighborhood, as far as the tennis courts are concerned, I’d look at it as a positive thing.”

Comments from affected residents will be collected and reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Department before being presented to the City Commission for further review. No timetable has been set for the item to appear on the city agenda.

Comments

petronius 4 years, 7 months ago

The Lawrence Tennis Association needs to understand that the new tennis courts built by USD 497 in the Centennial Neighborhood do not meet the recommended setback between residential properties and recreational fields that is suggested in the code for Special Use Permit Approvals.

75 ft. setbacks are recommended between residential properties and recreational athletic fields. To make lighting comply with trespass standards as mentioned by Mr. Gridley is virtually impossible because of the way USD 497 located the tennis courts originally with only a 16 ft. setback to the residential property lines.

Kendall Simmons 4 years, 7 months ago

These are "recommended" and "suggested" setbacks, not required setbacks, right? So what is the Lawrence Tennis Association supposed to "understand"?

As far as sleeping and light pollution go...well, surely 10 PM isn't too late for sleep, and the lights of Lawrence already provide so much light pollution that we can't see very many stars from inside the city proper as it is. Sorry, but these just seem like molehill complaints.

Kay Pettit 4 years, 7 months ago

Did you not hear Scott McCullough of Planning reading the Land Development Code? The only thing that might be required is a 25 foot buffer yard. There is no "Special Use Permit" required, it is an accessory and allowed use to a General Public and Institutional Land Use.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

Lighted tennis courts in a residential neighborhood are inappropriate. Light them elsewhere.

hawkstate 4 years, 7 months ago

The old courts were lighted in a residential neighborhood. The city is doing everything they can to avoid the light pollution. The lights shut off at 10PM, they'll be on hourly timers for when they're not in use, screens on the fences and all the lighting is directional. Your lives will not be changed by lighted tennis courts.
We have bigger problems to worry about!!!

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Look who is back! I was expecting a cool front any day now. Starting the countdown to the next disappearededing.

puddleglum 4 years, 7 months ago

hows does a (real) architect get kicked off a historic board?

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, Mr. Alstrom, we can pick nits here. But it commonly known that re-appointments to these city boards is all but automatic for those wishing to continue to serve. And you had indicated a high desire to continue to serve, yet you were not re-appointed.

It is not unfair to characterize this, in my view, as you were removed or kicked-off from the Board. Especially when you combine this fact with hundreds of (anonymous) vitriolic posts criticizing Mayor Hack which you made when she chose not to re-appoint you.

So technically, you were not removed, but you were not afforded what is normally an automatic reappointment.

So, how does that happen Mr. Alstrom? Should we review your conduct while a member of the HRC? Should not we do so since you have applied to be a member of the appointing authority?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Not a well thought out plan. Haste makes waste of tax dollars and creates angry neighborhoods.

No one can possibly put themselves in the place that neighbors find themselves unless you are a neighbor.

Light pollution can be annoying. Park department USD 497 officials know this. Why do they bully the taxpayers?

bigpicture 4 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. Why throw good money after bad? Why insist on following through with the USDs facility development plan that was poorly conceived, fiscally irresponsible, shoddily implemented, and dishonestly managed?

Why does the City insist on presenting this issue as an either/or, with the interests of one side prevailing over the other?

If they must collaborate with the USD, why not consider expanded and lighted facilities at Free State in addition to unlighted courts in the Centennial neighborhood?

If we must do a money dump why not invest in facilities that everyone can enjoy for many years to come?

1029 4 years, 7 months ago

Under no circumstances should people ever play tennis at night. Lights at a tennis court? That is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard in my life. Tennis is a day game. Has this whole city gone mad?

sr80 4 years, 7 months ago

you fail to understand 1029 that the rich & affluent are night creatures.

tigerlil42 4 years, 7 months ago

Not lazy, maybe a lot of people who like to play have to work & then want to enjoy their evening. maybe this is their way of relaxing

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

Try playing during the day in the heat of summer. The courts can be well over 100 degrees. An evening of tennis under the lights is one of the most pleasant and fun forms of recreation there is. And, sr80, you'd be very surprised to find that the members of the Lawrence Tennis Association represent all walks of life, all economic levels, all age levels. It is not, as commonly perceived, a sport played only by 'country clubbers'.

sr80 4 years, 7 months ago

now we are going to start suing light for trespassing.wow

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

When dogs poop on school property, is that dog poop trespass?

sr80 4 years, 7 months ago

hey gridley go buy some drapes and if its cloudy i imagine you could sue mother nature thru park & rec we don't want you to miss your stargazing.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

Even a broken clock is right two times a day.

JustAsking 4 years, 7 months ago

Gosh!! What next? People at the facilities will need to keep their noise/cheering to a specified level. Really, how many nights are the lights going to be on. Not for the last 90 days!! In the summer there is a significant amount of sunlight late into the evening. Heck, use the evenings in the summer when the lights are on and it's cooler to mow the lawn!!

What were people thinking when they moved close to a school? No traffic, no noise, no parking issues, no kids playing, laughing and having fun? Oh, I forgot and the darn marching band is playing to loud too early in the morning or too late at night!! So now you’re saying, “I don't like all of this so you other people have stop!!”.

A parallel would be to buy a house next to a busy road and then be pissed because the passing vehicles were making too much noise or buy a house next to a golf course and be pissed becuase there's noise early in the morning and people keep hitting golf balls into my yard.

Glo 4 years, 7 months ago

A better parallel would be to buy a house next to a Mom and Pop's store, live there 20 to 30 years, and then have them build "Mall of America" next to you.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Shout vandalism! Had any good oreadcoffee lately, bub?

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

yes, but the best show ever was Maude!

woodscolt 4 years, 7 months ago

Just need the sound track now. Lots of brass, i'd say.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a present-day wild weekend in Wyandotte County.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

doesn't it take like 100 bucks to open an account?

wmathews 4 years, 7 months ago

We discussed Sven's comment about his campaign finance situation, and have decided to leave it. The thinking being he is providing a legitimate answer to TOB's question. However, I will only allow Sven to post this information ONCE. Any future posts containing information that I feel solicits our users for campaign funding will be swiftly removed.

Whitney Mathews Assistant Community Editor for Online

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Could you create an article that would have the donation information for all the candidates? That way, if anyone asks about it in future, they could merely link to that article, which would give equal time to all candidates.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

how did the powers that be decide to again let Sven post on this site? It has been well known that he is banned. Will you be letting all banned accounts reactivate?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that he's allowed back on because he's now a candidate for city commission, and unless they want to prohibit other candidates from posting, they have to allow him to post. But it came with the contingency that he not post anonymously, and he must obey posting rules.

wmathews 4 years, 7 months ago

This. I am literally in the process of writing a blog post about it, but you've summed it up just about as well as I could.

I'll post anyway, though... and probably quote you.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

hail2oldku 4 years, 7 months ago

So is Sven acting as his own campaign manager/money guy/coordinator person? or is the credit union? maybe the merc?

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

It was a bit subtle, but I think he did answer your question.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

true, and his free advertising on this site should be stopped and removed. I am contacting the other candidates at this moment.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 7 months ago

I wonder what Dick's involvement is with this candidate?

rockchalker52 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not giving much extra weight to the opinions of LHS neighbors except for the ones who moved there before the high school did. Are there any?
In the spring & summer, the stars don't shine really well until an hour after daylight savings time retires for the night.
10 pm is not unreasonable. Light 'em up. And while you're at it, light up the ones at Free State, too.

rockchalker52 4 years, 7 months ago

You're gonna have to go back further than that.

Kendall Simmons 4 years, 7 months ago

Yup, rockchalker. LHS opened in that location in 1954...57 years ago...so "more than 40 years ago" doesn't come close to answering your question. (And "7" doesn't sound like too large a number to actually ask, either.)

CHEEZIT 4 years, 7 months ago

Just put a dome over it. Make sure the roof slopes to the east. Put as much lighting as you want! Problem sovled!

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

speaking of pollution, ask Sven what he drives.

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Wasn't the Roman Petronius the guy that got kicked out of Sodom for being too icky even for them?

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

How about you letting us discuss your history of lies and mistruths.

You obviously are requesting removal of many posts, including mine, when they are expressing facts which are in the public domain.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

1) You do not have legal title to a residence in Lawrence, therefore you can not be a member of the Centennial Neighborhood Association.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

2) You do not have a degree in architecture, your chosen profession.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

3) Your explanations of development law did not prevail when put the legal test, as your lawsuit against the school board was dismissed in a face-saving "settlement" instead of being adjudicated.

In short, you are known to inaccurately state the development code. You have never won a case in court to support your various interpretations.

puddleglum 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

irvan moore 4 years, 7 months ago

one of the problems with the tennis court lighting is that it wasn't the deal that was made. the schools keep saying they are going to do one thing and then do something else and the city lets them get away with it. the school board and city commission make deals with the neighborhoods and then change them because they don't like the deal they made.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

{onomatopoeic representation of a dog barking}

BruceWayne 4 years, 7 months ago

I will be making a donation to the other candidates and providing them with any and all information I have to use toward their campaign. Buffalo Bob looking better all the time.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

Sven continues to snuff my posts.

Bong hits for censorship.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

Bozo accusing someone else of being a troll? Besides that would be impossible.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

BTW, since this got removed earlier because I replied to one of your removed posts, home ownership is NOT a prerequisite to joining a neighborhood association.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

BTW, you need to re-check your sources on that. The NA's differ, and Centennial does have such a prerequisite, and many others have adopted that rule. Talk to your friend Gwen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, you may be right, but I can't find any information one way or the other.

If you are right, then they should call it a homeowners' association, and not a neighborhood association. (and the Oread Neighborhood Assn. should be renamed the Oread Landlords' Assoc.)

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 7 months ago

I was at the meeting last night. From what I heard from the neighbors was they didn't mind the lighting, as long as it was not these 8 courts. They would rather have the Freestate courts lighted even though there are less courts.

Heck, they don't care about equity when between East Lawrence & West Lawrence. Heck, the Parks & Rec. should build more fancy, state of the art facilities in west Lawrence. Sven and his neighbors have approved it. Why not?????

I heard a few people talk about the declining property values. Heck, I hope the prices in that area continue to drop. I need to get a group of people together to start buying houses and cheap.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 7 months ago

Funny thing... there were lighted courts before the school district destroyed & built new courts a block away. The people who would like to have lights there are not wanting more courts with lights than before 2009.... just the same amount...

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

whats_going_on 4 years, 7 months ago

How dare people want to exercise while others are sitting lazily on their couches!!!!

Sooo turn the lights off after a certain time, seems like a simple fix. Or, invest in light control shades/drapes.

hawkstate 4 years, 7 months ago

The lights shut off at 10PM. The lights will also be on hourly timers and shut off if there are no players.

classclown 4 years, 7 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) replies…

Could you create an article that would have the donation information for all the candidates? That way, if anyone asks about it in future, they could merely link to that article, which would give equal time to all candidates.

=========================================

I agree. Since you want to be fair and all. Allowing Sven to post information about donating to his candidacy means that that all candidates should be allowed to post the same.

Fairness dictates it.

Kendall Simmons 4 years, 7 months ago

Ditto.

Sven did not answer the question that was asked, so either his post should go or the info should be posted here for all candidates.

classclown 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't care about the lighting issue either way. However, I am curious about one thing. How many of the people that want these lights provided to them (at taxpayer expense) are the same people that are against building new power plants or preach about how everyone needs to conserve electricity (perhaps so the taxpayers can then provide them with lights for their own electricity consuming desires)?

I'm not saying this is the case. I'm just wondering.

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

So Mr. Alstrom sent his letter to Whitney and Jonathan two minutes after he challenged me to point out his misrepresentations and deceptions.

How convenient. And how typical.

These questions are fair ones for one running for public office, and he needs to answer them.

Mr. Alstrom, would you sign a waiver which would allow the LJW to release your previous posts under all of your identities (you identified yourself by name more than once under the Cool identity)?

If not, why not? Weren't you being honest in what you posted under those 10 or so identities?

Why are you choosing to hide now? Afraid to face the facts?

Kendall Simmons 4 years, 7 months ago

I was astonished to read Mr. Alstrom's post that "the reason that i re-entered was to be able to FLAG inaccurate or defamatory posts." And then informing us that, after only 6 hours, he decided that it was not "possible to have a rational discussion"...even though most people were discussing the tennis courts...so he was quitting the forum.

Was Mr. Alstrom totally unaware that his posts and comments, among other things, could/would be used by people to judge his suitability as a candidate for city commission? Or that most of us who visit these forums have no idea whatsoever who most of the posters are, so would not have had a negative attitude toward him coming in?

I guess not.

workinghard 4 years, 7 months ago

There are lighted tennis courts down the street at Veterns Park, which by the way are on, annoyingly, WAY after 10pm.

black_butterfly 4 years, 7 months ago

"It’s one of the classy sports,” said Kay Pettit, a zoning and codes officer."- relevance please?

Kay Pettit 4 years, 7 months ago

I did not say that. The reporter asked about us cussing. I said it was a non-issue and he responded, that he thought it was a classy sport. I was very disappointed to see that quote attributed to me. You are right, no relevance.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh dear. Poor Sven.

Actually being confronted with the things he has previously said.

Candidates for public office should not be forced to endure that experience, should they?

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

I mean people (or their mothers) who buy a house which backs upon a school athletic field have a constitutional right to have the school never actually use the field as an athletic field, right?

Isn't that in the constitution somewhere?

Even after years previously the area neighborhood association had encouraged and assisted the school district to acquire additional nearby land to expand their athletic field possibilities like for..... tennis courts?

svenway_park 4 years, 7 months ago

Sven says @ 3:20pm 1/28 ..... i have decided to leave the forum....goodbye....i am signing out....SVEN

Lets see. At least five posts since he signed out. Yet he has not answered any of the questions posed to him.

Who is hiding? And who is making more lies?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

{onomatopoeic representation of a dog barking}

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