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Field lighting variance decision for sports complex held until November

Don Rhuda, of Musco Lighting Company, explains the proposed 70-foot field lighting for the Victory Sports Medicine athletic complex at the Oct. 16 Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing. VSM owner Dr. Marc P. Pietropaoli, seated behind podium, listens.

Don Rhuda, of Musco Lighting Company, explains the proposed 70-foot field lighting for the Victory Sports Medicine athletic complex at the Oct. 16 Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing. VSM owner Dr. Marc P. Pietropaoli, seated behind podium, listens. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— Rhuda also said there would be an as-yet-undetermined number of light poles of not higher than 20 feet throughout the entire complex to light the roads, driveways, walkways and parking lots.

Rhuda said the height of the PA speakers to announce games is “usually” set at 20 feet.

Before opening the hearing to public comments, ZBA Chair David Graham read aloud a letter the ZBA received from the town planning board in which the planning board members stated they were in “full support” of approval for the light variance request.

Graham also said the Onondaga County planning board had sent the ZBA a letter on Sept. 17 recommending modifications to the proposed complex plan, including a complete traffic impact study by the state Department of Transportation, a DOT determination on the storm water drainage plan and a DOT determination on the access road connecting to Route 20 from the complex. The county planning board also encouraged the limitation of “harsh glare” on the neighbors from complex lighting.

Graham then recommended that the ZBA accept the planning board’s Oct. 16 negative declaration for the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), which stated that the VSM project would have no significant environmental impact to the town. The ZBA unanimously accepted the planning board’s determination.

Public comments

The hearing was then opened for public comment. Three people spoke in favor of project and the light variance, while more than one dozen spoke out against it, with their comments typically followed by loud applause from the crowd.

Resident Chris Rourke, who lives in an adjoining neighborhood to the proposed complex, said that when VSM held a lighting demonstration on the property on Sept. 11 with two 70-foot light poles, he saw no glare from his house or as he walked around his neighborhood. He said there was more glare from the Skaneateles High School lights two miles away.

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