LJWorld.com weblogs Lighting of the new tennis courts
New tennis courts on Greever Terrace
After attending the public meeting last week about the lighting of the new tennis courts, I would like to comment. Let me clarify upfront, I live in the Centennial Neighborhood and have for over 30 years. The presenter from Parks and Rec stated that the courts are moving just one block south, but we have a "new set of neighbors". This means to me that he perceives the neighbors as the problem. I would like to point out the physical differences of the two sites.
- The courts at their previous location (on 21st Street) had a larger setback from houses adjacent to the courts. A large swall of mature plantings divided the houses and the courts.
- 21st Street is a major street; Greever is a small residential street that already services Centennial Virtual School, baseball parking and high school parking as well as the tennis court parking.
- The courts on 21st Street had restroom facilities. Porta potties are planned for the Greever site.
- The previous site had a drinking fountain; none on the new site.
- On the Greever site, a large 6' retaining wall seperates the elevated courts and the yard of the neighbor. Nothing seperates the yard of the neighbor on the south side of the courts (although fencing and landscaping has been promised since the start of the project.) Foot traffic as well a bike traffic is frequent on the small open area on the west side of the courts and visual and physical access of the yards is easy. Drainage was an issue and we are told that has finally been corrected. The first spring rain will answer that question. Bleachers for spectators, by the way, are at the end of the courts, not on the side where one would generally like to watch a tennis match.
- When the courts were located on 21st Street , it was the only lighted facility. People in the neighborhood now deal with lights from the stadium, soccer field, softball field and baseball field. Parks and Recreation officials admit that the new tennis court lights would far exceed the restriction standards for lighting in a residential area, but say that recreational facilities do not have that restriction.
- On another note, the facility is being touted as "public courts"; The Lawrence Tennis Association (LTA) said at the public meeting they will be using them for league play 4 nights a week. They also have a Saturday league and instructional leagues, as well a tournaments. I know the LTA generates money from it's activities, but do not know if they pay the city for use of the facilities.
Why is the city so willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a facility that was so poorly designed and constructed and will really not meet their needs until further improvements are made? Several alternatives sites with willing providers were suggested at the meeting.