Our Last Chance to Protect Loma Portal: The Courthouse
Warning in an October memo of more heavy-equipment noise throughout the holidays, the School District has OK’d the multi-million-dollar purchase contract for lights and poles and is resuming construction to commercialize Point Loma High School. Digging, demolition and reconstruction of portions of the football field actually began prior to the School Board’s July 12 project approval.
The initial phases call for 46,036 LED watts (similar to 460,000 incandescent watts) of stadium lights to be installed on four seven-story-tall field poles and four three-story-tall poles on the grandstands. Concurrently, the district will install a commercial grade sound system to amplify music and play-by-play calls during practices and games. All should be ready to light up and blast through the neighborhood until 11 p.m., any night of the year, by this spring 2017.
We need your help to save PLHS as the neighborhood high school it’s been for 91 years, stop the commercialization, and stop the invasion of homes with light and noise. Our neighbors have sued the District to save the field entirely for student use. Click here for a copy of the lawsuit. But the process is expensive and may take months to reach a binding settlement or judge’s decision. Please help Pro Point Loma help our brave neighbors by contributing through PayPal.
Beware: Distraught neighbors of Clairemont High were forced to move after their stadium lights went up, and their closest homes are located farther from the field than Point Loma’s. Watch this short video to see and hear for yourself.
The newly approved EIR and recent School Board approvals set in motion the following:
- Rentals of the field to non-school third parties (like the VAVi adult sports and drinking clubs that already rent other high-school fields) can begin at the end of summer. Outside third parties can rent the field, lights, amps, loudspeakers and grandstand on any nights they’re not being used by students, until 11 p.m., according to the EIR.
- The light will cast a glow over homes a mile away, south to Fleetridge, west up the slope to La Cresta, northwest to Plumosa Park, and of course, over all of Loma Portal, penetrating bedrooms until 11 p.m.
- The amplified noise will penetrate bedrooms just as far, just as late, just as often.
- When Correia Middle School’s three new fields are lit soon, a “double” dome of light will cover the Famosa and West Point Loma Boulevard neighborhoods as well.
- Aircraft will be warned with red lights atop all new light poles, the FAA has ordered.
- The lawsuit proceeds in San Diego Superior Court, citing the School District’s violations of the Brown Act, California Environmental Quality Act and California Government Code. A mandatory settlement conference in August has yielded a mediation discussion, which may or may not influence the need for a trial
- The judge may order the school to negotiate an enforceable field-use agreement in good faith, or the judge may impose an enforceable field-use agreement prohibiting commercial use and limiting field use to legal student activities.
Another warning: The current field use policy, touted by the School District and PLHS staff as having “community input,” actually excluded the input of PLHS’ next-door neighbors in favor of more distant boosters promoting third-party rentals. This policy, which purports to limit field use to 18 “events” per year, does NOT include play-off games, practices and routine third-party rentals as bona fide “events” and therefore their use of lights and sound systems those nights aren’t counted against the “18-event” limit. Very tricky. School staff is solely responsible for administering, enforcing or not enforcing the policy, with no recourse to neighbors for blatant over-use.
Read the annotated PLHS Field-Use Policy for yourself and count the loopholes.
We do need your help to preserve Loma Portal’s way of life, and preserve the PLHS field for PLHS students. Thank you for your support!