GUEST VIEW: PLHS stadium-lighting plan bodes poorly for those nearby
Published - 08/13/14 - 02:33 PM | 4401 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m writing in response to your article in the Beacon regarding the athletic fields in Point Loma. I will refer you to our Pro Point Loma website for information regarding Point Loma High’s field and the reasons “some of the neighbors” are against the plan for lights and a public-address system.  

I am really disappointed to see the lack of balanced coverage regarding this issue. So far, all I’ve seen is articles obviously in favor. A little in-depth reporting would lead you to see how the school district does not fully inform communities and sometimes outright lies to us re this issue. We were promised as recently as 2011 that no lights would be installed (a letter from the district can be found on our website).  

As of now, there is no “green light” for lights and a public-address system at PLHS. Our group is determined to stop this and save our neighborhood from the lasting effects of this. All anyone has to do is come here and look at the campus and its proximity to homes to realize how terrible this plan is.  

Also note the one parking lot, which is a few blocks away from the new improved entrance to the stadium. My daughter just graduated in June. We were sent an email from the school directing everybody to come early as there was no parking on campus and we would all have to park on the neighborhood streets. Every graduation day, the streets are lined with cars for blocks around. This also happens on Homecoming Day. The streets are narrow. Nobody directs traffic, especially at the intersection of Clove and Voltaire streets, where people are crossing on foot and cars are crossing as well. Imagine having large events there once stadium seating is installed, lights and a PA system. We would go from having this problem twice a year to possibly weekly events both day and night — all year long.  

School district Trustee Scott Barnett is not seeking re-election. He makes promises that cannot be kept, and who knows who will follow on the district after he leaves. He has not promised us that the stadium will not be used for outside groups. In fact, the school already rents the stadium out. It is my understanding the school district made about $2 million last year renting out the field. Why else would the district spend so much money on lights when funds are so limited?  

That school campus is a mess. Poor air conditioning, little green space, buildings that have no bathroom facilities — those are just some of the problems. Not to mention that the campus is just plain ugly. Why isn’t the district addressing these issues first? And why aren’t you and your publication writing about that?

Our group has interviewed neighbors from Clairemont who are really upset about what has happened at Claremont High School. They report weekly, sometimes 4 or 5 days a week; events take place at the school day and night. The PA system is really loud, even with windows closed. The sound of people stomping on the new aluminum bleachers is deafening and the light shines way beyond the campus.  

The stadium there is used for events that sometimes last all day and into the night. These neighbors have tried to get [District 2 City Councilman-elect] Lori Zapf to help them, but so far no luck. One prominent San Diegan, Walter Andersen of Andersen’s nursery, is actually selling his house because of this.

I have lived in this neighborhood all of my life. I live in my parents’ house, which they built in 1950. I had planned to stay here for the rest of my life and hopefully leave it to our daughters. This stadium plan will have a terrible effect on the quality of life here and our property values. I am very-pro PLHS. I’m an alumni and I belong to the alumni association. My class donated money to the school this year in the form of a scholarship. My mother graduated from Point Loma High in 1942, as did my aunt and two uncles.  

I am one of seven children, all of whom attended PLHS, and our own daughters both did.  

I resent being made to look like a NIMBY [Not in My Backyard] neighbor who does not care about the school or the students who go there. But this situation will be intolerable, and I think so unnecessary, especially since the district is planning a large sports complex at Correia.

I challenge you and your publication to do your job and research this issue. I am looking forward to seeing a fair, balanced report.

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August 14, 2014
Sorry to read about your displeasure with the planned improvements at the PLHS sports field. Yes, I remember the day of my own graduation in 1976. Parking was a problem way back then too. I guess it happens that way every year. We have four high schools in my town and traffic and parking problems are big concerns at each school site. In San Diego County, there must be 40-50 high schools, and each one has its own community issues both good and bad. It's time PLHS had its sports field updated. For one thing, it's always had a P.A. System - it was just portable. I can remember hearing the echo bouncing back from the embankment behind the baseball this isn't really a new change. The benefits here will mean that the students and staff won't have to lug out the heavy, portable equipment for each game - fewer strained backs. Also, let me remind us all that the field and these neighborhoods are directly under the approach to the Lindbergh Field. Neighbors have tolerated that continuous loud noise for decades. And as for the congestion, San Diego is the 7th largest city in America. The beaches are congested, and so is downtown, Mission Valley, old Town, Balboa Park and every freeway with an odd or even number. This is an urban area and this community is in the center of present day urban San Diego. If you are looking for the San Diego circa 1950 - 1960 (and I believe many people are)...well it no longer exists. So let's continue to support our school and our community. Embrace the needed change and sit in the stands and root on the Pointers. However, if that is not possible, I hear Texas has some nice towns...
August 15, 2014
The PA system planned is to be mounted on 100 ft tall lights. This goes way beyond what is now in use. PL is the only school in the district that actually shares property lines with homes, is the smallest and possibly most over crowded school in the district and probably has the least amount of parking spaces available. As you remember, the stadium entrance is on a residential street amid houses. There is a sports complex with 4 lighted fields being planned for the Correia Junior High campus nearby that is supposed to be completed in 2015 and has a bigger buffer zone between it and people's homes. I'm frustrated with being told by people who do not live in this neighborhood what I should accept. I also resent being made to look like I don't support my school or community. To suggest that we should encourage more congestion and noise just because that's the wave of the future is outrageous. PL is fully developed now. You obviously don't live here anymore and may not be familiar with the area anymore. It is still a great neighborhood and developing a commercial stadium in the middle of it will ruin it unnecessarily. There are lots of improvements needed at PL, a stadium is not one of them. I invite you to our web site Pro Point Loma if you want to inform yourself fully.