The Hoover EIR meeting was enlightening but very disappointing for people living near Hoover High!
Hoover High School had night lights for many years before they were removed due to gang violence and other negative impacts associated with night football games. Hoover neighbors knew the fight against the installation of permanent 100’ light poles was going to be an uphill battle given Hoover had had lights in the past, and hired an expert to assess the true impact of the new commercial lights the school district is installing at all the high schools.
The situation with Point Loma High School is different as: (1) PLHS has never had night lights. Because PLHS never had lights, the “Friday afternoon football game” became a tradition in our neighborhood. Because PLHS has never had lights, installation of the more powerful commercial night lights will be a significant impact on our community. (2) Parking and traffic in the area surrounding PLHS is more impacted than any other high school in the district as PLHS has built itself right up to houses on three sides of the school property. With only 148 parking spots on the campus, the only place for the 500 – 700 vehicles coming to games or other events for which the field has been rented will be in front of your homes.
Hoover EIR summary:
· Expert opinions were ignored by the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Unified School District (the school district) regarding the broad impact of the night lights on a wide area of the neighborhoods surrounding Hoover High School. The recognized expert hired by the Taxpayers for Accountable School Spending analyzed the light impact using data collected when the night lights were in use at Hoover High. The Board of Trustees ignored the expert report and voted to certify the Hoover Environmental Impact Report (EIR), in which the evident light spillage was downplayed because the school district’s consultant used standard specifications provided by the light manufacturer, not real data from the Hoover lights.
· Two school board members voted to certify the Hoover EIR with the condition that “no more than 15 to 19 night events” will be held at Hoover. What constitutes an “event” was not defined so it is not clear how many nights that actually means.
· Noise was the only significant immitigable impact identified in the EIR and since there was no way to reduce the level of noise created by the large speakers placed on the 100’ light poles without eliminating the commercial PA system, this impact was ignored by the Board of Trustees of the school district.
What we learned: Football rules and is more important than academics or being a good neighbor.
What can you do? Your active engagement with PPL is needed! It is very important for our community to be involved in the Point Loma High School (PLHS) EIR process. Sign up for an EIR Committee (Lights, Looks & Litter Committee; Commercialization Committee; Neighborhood Safety; Parking & Traffic; Noise) by contacting PPL:firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have already signed up, your committee captain will be in contact with you. Visit our website to learn more: www.pro-pointloma.org.