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SOUTHLAKE An intense debate over a proposal to add lights to ball fields at Carroll Senior High School in Southlake stretched into early Wednesday morning at City Hall.

In the end, Council members approved a variance to permit the lighting system in a 7-0 vote.

Carroll ISD sought to install lights at the softball and baseball fields behind the high school. The teams currently cannot play night games.

But neighbors opposed the proposal not only because of the lights themselves, but because they said they were never consulted.

People on both sides of the issue packed Council chambers Tuesday night, and there were several hours of discussion, mostly between the school district and Council members.

The proposal violated city code, which meant the district required a variance in order to move forward.

Southlake's Planning and Zoning Commission denied the variance earlier this month, but the district then tweaked its plan, offering to add $100,000 worth of trees as buffers and to only use the lights a few nights a year.

"They are trying to make this look like an emergency, and it is not," said neighbor Jennifer Blanchard. "We all love the Dragons and want to see them play under lights. We just oppose this in the current location."

Jamie Wimberly has a son and a daughter who participate in sports.

"Our home campus has one entrance," she said. "The city park where the girls are shipped off to play now has several. You don't know who is at that city park. We like the safety and security of our home campus, where staff and school resource officers are watching our kids."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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