Southlake residents fight over lights for baseball, softball stadiums




Posted on January 4, 2013 at 12:44 AM

SOUTHLAKE -- The battle between a school and its neighbors turned into a showdown at city hall in Southlake Thursday.

It looked like Christmas at the Southlake Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night: half the crowd in red, half the crowd in green. It was to demonstrate opposition and support for a proposal to light the softball and baseball fields at Carroll Senior High School.

In the end, the planning and zoning commission denied Carroll ISD's lighting variance request, but because the commission is an advisory body, it will still go before the city council at their Jan. 15 meeting.

The fields currently have no lights. Girls softball games are played off site, and boys baseball games must start no later than 4 p.m. -- meaning players miss class.

"We just want our kids in class, and we want them to play on their campus fields," said Jamie Wimberly, the mother of a softball player and a baseball player at Carroll.

The school district already approved installing 14 light standards, but neighbors said they weren't consulted and also said they had been told lights would not be installed.

They believe the lights will cause property values to plummet and they worry about light pollution.

"We have little ones," said Lauren Loredo, whose home backs up to the field. "I worry about putting them to bed and I also worry about noise pollution from the P.A. system."

Several homeowners spoke against the proposal; included in the group speaking in favor were student athletes.