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Committee Mobilizes to Oppose Permanent Night Lighting on School Athletic Field PDF Print Email

chambersfield-lights-07-24-13

Jul. 24, 2013: Time is of the essence for a committee of Bronxville residents opposed to permanent lighting on Chambers Field at The Bronxville School.

The Committee to Oppose Lights is planning to circulate a petition in opposition not only to the installation of permanent lights, but also to the lighting feasibility study approved by the Bronxville Board of Education at its July 9 reorganization meeting.

"This is not the first time permanent lighting has been opposed for Chambers Field," stated Maureen Hackett, Willow Road resident and committee member. She noted that a petition circulated in 2005 gathered over 100 signatures of residents against installing permanent lighting on the field.

Opposition to the planned feasibility study centers on quality of life issues in the neighborhoods surrounding the school and the intention of the village code as it addresses lighting.

Hackett said that permanent lights on Chambers Field would go against the code's statement that lighting within the village will be regulated to ensure a nighttime appearance with respect to the village's character.

"Adding lighting of this type would create a commercial and carnival-like appearance," Hackett said, adding that additional factors, such as environmental pollution and stress on living conditions and the health of nearby residents, would erode the quality of life Bronxville residents appreciate and expect. "Neighbors of the school buy into a certain amount of activity, but when it gets to be after hours, they want it to be quiet and look like nighttime."

The Bronxville School, according to Hackett, assured its close neighbors in 2005 that no permanent lighting would be installed on Chambers Field. Although turf field renovations done at that time included the installation of sleeves to accommodate electrical cabling, Hackett said, school officials stated that it was not a "back door" tactic to the eventual installation of lights.

"You can imagine how the neighbors reacted to this announcement that the school is doing this feasibility study," she said, adding that the board of education resolution addresses effects, cost, and footing of lighting rather than giving any concrete design specifications about the actual lights.

Hackett estimates that there are 300 homes within 500 yards of Chambers Field, with at least 12 homes within 20 feet of the field's perimeter, making for a dense residential area. She pointed out that, with townhouses and single-family homes on three sides of the field, "it's not in a location where it's appropriate for that type of lighting for night play."

She added that, although the school's neighbors understand that the field will be in use every school day, the field currently accommodates games and practices seven days a week. Neighbors are concerned about increasing that capacity by creating more time at night for field usage.

Hackett said that a serious effect over time, and one on many people's minds should the school install permanent lighting, is the potential decrease in property values due to erosion of the quality of life.

"I understand that the school is somewhat exempt from the village building code," Hackett said, "but I would assume they want to comply with the spirit of the code since the school resides in the middle of the village."

"We don't really even know who does want the lights," she said, speaking for the committee.

Pictured here:  Chambers Field, where the installation of night lighting is being considered by the Bronxville Board of Education.

Photo by N. Bower

 

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Government & History Directory

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

Bronxville Village Government Directory

Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
337-6500
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends


Bronxville Police Department
337-0500
Open 24 hours


Bronxville Parking Violations
337-2024
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends


Bronxville Fire Deparment
793-6400


 
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