Question: What determines the design of a sports field/stadium lighting?
Answer: Criteria, which determine the design of a sports field, include type of sports field, class of play, level and age of players (adult vs. youth), spectator capacity, orientation and topography, location, field size and width of sideline, and sufficient controls to satisfy contingencies. All of these factors and more contribute to the design.
Question: What determines the height of a light pole?
Answer: Location of the poles in relation to the field determines the height. For adequate illumination of soccer and baseball fields, they are typically 60-70 or more feet tall. However, field size, light level required, fixture type all play a role in determining the height of a light pole.
Question: What determines the number of light poles on any given field?
Answer: Depends on the size of the field. According to one local sports lighting company, there are typically 4 poles on a high school football or soccer field, 6 poles on a high school baseball field, and 4 poles on a little league level field.
Question: How many light fixtures are there on a single pole?
Answer: According to WHLL president-elect Chris Ellis, the lights at the Westlake High School practice fields will be indicative of the lights on the sports fields over on River Hills Road. At the High School, the Football Field has 7 poles with 12-15 light fixtures, the Baseball Field has 6 poles with 6-18 light fixtures, and the Multi- Sport Practice Field has 6 poles with 10-20 light fixtures.
Question: What determines the wattage or brightness?
Answer: Most commonly, sports light fixtures use 1500 watt metal halide bright white bulbs. Each light pole will generally contain from 3 to 16 fixtures depending on the application. The brightness will be a function of the lumens from each fixture, the number of fixtures and the observer’s distance from the fixtures. For example, many in the area currently can see the Lake Travis football stadium lights from time to time. The brightness is the inverse square of the distance from the lighting. So, to observers in Rob Roy, the same lights on the River Hills site, which is about 1 mile away, would appear 49 times brighter than those at Lake Travis, 8 miles away ((8-1) squared).
Question: Why is field lighting so problematic on this site?
Answer: The River Hills site is very unique in that it is located on two hilltops with over 200 feet of steep slopes around it. This hilltop elevation creates a lighthouse effect, resulting in bright lights and amplified sound traveling unobstructed in all directions. WNA estimates the area of potential impact to be approximately 20 square miles.
Question: Can the negative impact of field lighting be mitigated by using the “latest technology”?
Answer: Sport lighting today uses shields connected to the light fixture that can reduce “glare” that comes from looking straight into a light. It also allows the lighting fixture to direct and concentrate the light towards the field. However, the light is the brightest and most concentrated at the source, which in this case is near the top of each light pole. This light, once it exits the fixture, will be plainly visible, very bright and completely unobstructed.
Question: There are several sports fields in the area that have field lighting. What is different about them?
Answer: There are not many lighted sports fields in the Westlake area for good reasons. Sports Complex lighting can have a significant negative impact to area neighborhoods. Other sports complexes generally have a significant buffer to residential areas, are adjoining commercial areas, are not used 365 days a year, do not have 8 lighted fields clustered together, and are not located on a hilltop where the impact of bright lights and amplified sound is unobstructed.
Question: What should we look for when lights are going in?
Answer: According to the same sports lighting company, the lights go in very quickly. One day you see a flag on the ground, the next they are in.
We have asked for WHLL’s Lighting Plan for over two years now and have gotten nothing from them. We believe they know the impact will be huge, and therefore, they are reluctant to provide the area neighborhoods with any plans. We know how quickly they can put the lights in, so the time to act is now.
EMAIL YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS NOW!
The following are the elected officials who will be responsible for approving the permit for the site plan and allowing, ultimately, a virtual lighthouse on a hilltop on River Hills Road:
TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT
Samuel T. Biscoe – firstname.lastname@example.org
Precinct One, Ron Davis – email@example.com
Precinct Two, Bruce Todd – Phone: (512) 854-9222
Mr Todd’s Executive Assistants:
Loretta Farb – firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Einhorn – email@example.com
Joe Hon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Precinct Three, Gerald Daugherty – email@example.com
Precinct Four, Margaret Gomez – firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPERINTENDENT OF EANES ISD
Dr. Nola Wellman – email@example.com
EANES ISD 2013 SCHOOL BOARD
Dr James “Kal” Kallison, President at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Hargett, Vice President at email@example.com
Dr. Colleen Jones, Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronna Martin at email@example.com
Beau Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
Refer to The Case Number for the Filing of Application for Administrative Approval of A Site Plan SP-2013-0069D in your email.
EMAIL YOUR OPPOSITION UNTIL THEY CHOOSE A BETTER SITE!
THEY HAVE ALTERNATIVES. THEY ARE CHOOSING TO IGNORE THEM.
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Steve Wiener- 512-626-4025 / email@example.com
Lake Austin Neighborhood Opposes Western Hills Little League Sports Complex
The Western Hills Little League (WHLL) has signed a long-term lease with the Eanes Independent School District (EISD) to develop a large-scale sports complex in the midst of Lake Austin residential neighborhoods. Substantial opposition and concern has arisen among area neighbors with regard to the potential environmental, traffic safety, water quality and financial impacts to the neighborhood and local governments.
The proposed sports complex is wrong for this location.
- The proposed sports complex is huge; 51 acre with over 800 parking spaces.
- This site is in the middle of single, family neighborhoods with unsuitable access to safely accommodate the significant traffic increases that will result.
The topography of the site is not conducive to the development of the proposed facility, which includes 4 soccer fields, 8 baseball fields, 4 tennis courts and a large gymnasium.
- An earlier feasibility study for EISD notes the topography of the site will require substantial cuts and fills to prepare the site for construction of large, flat surfaces needed for ball fields and parking lots. Significant governmental variances will be required.
Portions of the proposed site are habitat for endangered species and include critical environmental features.
- An environmental assessment undertaken for the district reported three critical environmental features on the site as defined by the City.
- The assessment noted that portions of the site were habitat for endangered species. The proposed sports complex would require extensive clearing, potentially damaging or destroying the habitat.
- EISD’s engineering reports indicate that this tract is in the Critical Water Quality Zone of the Colorado River. The tract is within a Water Quality Transition Zone and Upland Zone. Storm water run-off from the site discharges into area creeksand subsequently into Lake Austin, the source of drinking water for the City of Austin and several water districts.
WHLL is planning to operate the Sports Complex year-round from 6 am to 10:30 pm.
- WHLL has indicated that the Sports Complex is expected to be open every day of the year, including holidays. WHLL will not agree to any limitations for use on the site for youths only.
- This schedule is more appropriate for a facility located in a commercial area, rather than a low-density, residential neighborhood.
- Light and sound pollution will negatively affect neighborhoods that have been in existence for decades.
Existing roads are inadequate to support the additional traffic.
- The proposed site is one mile into the middle of a residential area. There is only one access road to the site, River Hills Rd., a narrow, winding road, with no shoulders or turn lanes and one which has numerous tight curves with very limited site distances.
- The school district’s consulting engineers reported in 1995, as part of a feasibility study for a new school on the site, that the site needed significant road improvements to safely handle expected traffic increase. At peak traffic periods, the Sports Complex would generate thousands of additional vehicle trips on River Hills Road.
- Currently, there is no signal at the intersection of River Hills Road and RM 2244. Signalizing this intersection is problematic from a safety point of view because of the limited sight distances on RM 2244 that result from the hilltop just west of the intersection, and the significant traffic flow at 60 mph on RM2244.
- From a cost point of view, rationalizing the intersection would be very expensive because of the need for property acquisition and substantial cut and fills required.
The Proposed Sports Complex model is not right for this site or this community.
The site limitations described above suggest that the proposed sports complex is not appropriate for this site or this neighborhood. A sports complex of this scale may be suitable for a relatively flat, suburban or rural tract of land, with compatible neighboring land uses, good roadway access, and waste water collection and treatment capabilities. The River Hills site has none of these attributes.