Carroll lighting issues go to Southlake City Council

The issue of ball field lighting at Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, which has divided citizens and prompted a petition drive, moves to City Hall in January.

Red-T-shirt-clad residents who oppose the lighting at baseball and softball fields brought their cause to the Southlake City Council on Dec. 4 after the Carroll school board of trustees approved funding for field lighting the night before.

But the council directed them to go through the process, which means the issue will go to the Planning and Zoning Commission and then the council.

Parent Jamie Wimberly, a resident who wants the lights, told the council supporters are planning a fundraiser to help put in more landscaping as a buffer.

Parents of baseball and softball players want the lights installed so the teams can play night home games, among other reasons.

Opponents said they expect their property values to decrease significantly because of the lights and noise.

Opponent Jennifer Blanchard said Tuesday that neighbors plan a "strong presence" at the Planning and Zoning Commission Jan. 3.

The school board approved several measures to mitigate the effects of the lights. Among them: The district cannot rent the fields to outside teams at night; sound limits will be set for the public address system; and outfield lights will be turned off during post-game cleanup.

Julie Thannum, Carroll district spokeswoman, said the question of lighting originally arose after a citizens committee saw that money was left from a prior year bond issue.

"We saw things that were not, in the original package, identified as needs," she said.

The issue comes to the city because the district needs a lighting variance. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hear the variance application at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3, at Town Hall, 1400 Main St.

If the commission makes a recommendation at that meeting, the City Council will consider the application at its Jan. 15 meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m., also at Town Hall.

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