- Battle Point Park Field Lighting Meeting Page 1 June 18, 2021
- The meeting convened at 3:15 PM in the ETA studio at BARN. Attendees Scott Daniels —Battle Point Alliance (BPA) Frank Petrie, Peter Moseley, Glen Wyatt — Battle Point Astronomical Association (BPAA) Jeff Shepherd, Peter Murchie, Ron Piland — Bainbridge Island Football Club (BIFC) and Year-Round Fields Coalition (YRFC) Terry Lande — Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation District (BIMPRD) Linda Sohlberg — BARN (note taker) Agenda Review and introductions as needed (Peter Moseley facilitating). Agenda agreed to in advance by BPAA and BIFC and included as Attachment 1. Meeting Objective (by prior agreement) The primary objective of the meeting was to allow our respective groups (BPAA, BIFC, BPA) time together to consider the matter of the proposal to add, with a conditional use agreement, lighting at Battle Point Park Fields #4 and #5 (synthetic turf area), recap and expand on the prior meeting, discuss respective viewpoints, interests, and suggestions on the issues. BIFC Discussion The BIFC has formed the YRFC that includes the BIFC, Girls Lacrosse, and Ultimate Frisbee organizations and the items discussed by BIFC reflect the position of the coalition. Additional groups may be added as their respective leadership formally signs on to YRFC efforts. They have not yet included Boys Lacrosse or any adult groups that might also be interested in access. BIFC expects other groups will state their interests directly to BIMPRD leadership during future presentations to BIMPRD. BIFC operates year-round beginning with spring training, summer tournaments, fall competition, one week off for Thanksgiving, and three weeks off (in December) around Christmas. A February Cup is held usually off-island (with some qualifying games held on Bainbridge). BIFC has access to grass fields during the warm months, but they cannot be used in the winter months as the wet fields and grass are damaged. BIMPRD and the Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) historically do not allow use of grass fields from November through March. Therefore, artificial turf access is needed from mid-October until mid-March. This is also the time of early sunsets hence the need for lights as there is very little daylight between when school lets out and dark. Peter Murchie reviewed their search for sites and discussions with BISD and the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) regarding other possible sites. BIFC said they have been working on this for a few years. Evaluation criteria included cost, parking, timeline to usability, feasibility to get a field permitted, and whether candidate fields meet the needs
- Battle Point Park Field Lighting Meeting Page 2 June 18, 2021 of the youth sports program. According to BIFC, there is no place other than Battle Point Park that has turf fields that are not in heavy use. Bainbridge High School (BHS) does not give high priority to BIFC and they find it difficult to schedule access. BHS can and does bump BIFC on very short notice. There was discussion of adding artificial turf and lights the fields adjacent to the baseball fields at BHS. Since artificial turf is impervious, engineered drainage below and adjacent to the fields must be designed and installed to handle runoff. This is true of any new site. BIFC stated an estimate was provided that it would take a projected $6 to $8 million and several years to accomplish development of two fields with lighting at any new site. These are only rough cost and time estimates. Groups that want to use the artificial turf fields at Battle Point Park sign up with BIMPRD and pay a rental fee for access. BIFC has been doing that since the artificial turf fields went in and had a credit for their financial contribution to the artificial turf installation. That credit has almost been worked off. Presumably if YRFC paid for lights they would again have credit for use of the fields but would need to schedule with BIMPRD sign up as would all other users. BIMPRD owns the artificial turf fields and would own the lighting if installed. BIMPRD also said they would be happy to rent to off-island users if those users paid BIMPRD a significant rental fee. If the BIMPRD Board approves lights installation, BIMPRD would work out a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with COBI reflecting the conditions set by the affected parties. BIFC indicated terms of this agreement would be enforced by BIMPRD through a CUP that is similar to the Strawberry Hill Park lighting CUP which has been in place for the past 25 years. Strawberry Hill Park lighted-field users pay a fee for use of the lights. Potential users of lights at Battle Point Park would be required to sign up and pay a fee for access to the lighted fields. BIFC is interested in making a good faith effort to work out the terms of a CUP that meet the needs of the interested parties. If possible, they would like to have this agreed to before they go back to the BIMPRD Board. No time has been set for returning to the BIMPRD Board but BIFC would like to have this done during September. The time has passed to install lights this year so BIFC expects they would be in use for the 2022/2023 season and beyond. BIFC would like non-exclusive access to the lighted field until 9:00 pm Monday through Friday from mid-October through mid-March for practice and scrimmage only (no games). Other groups may want access at other days and times and the CUP would have to address this issue. The CUP would also need to factor in the time it takes for cars to depart as this affects Ritchie Observatory and the neighborhood.
- Battle Point Park Field Lighting Meeting Page 3 June 18, 2021 The lighted fields at Strawberry Park are governed by a conditional use permit, which specifies the time when the lights must be turned off. Terry Lande described how this is enforced. BIFC said the agreement for Strawberry Park (previously distributed by BIFC) is an example of one that could be used at Battle Point Park. Lighting Technology: New LED lighting systems have been developed that sharply contain the path of the light from its source (see https://www.musco.com). Standing at the edge of the LED-lit fields, one sees the bright area that is illuminated and then a fairly sharp transition to apparently no lighting. No light from the source is emitted up or to the sides beyond the specified boundary. However, according to BPAA, light is scattered off the turf, air, and any other illuminated object on the field and “leaks” out. This leakage is what concerns the BPAA as the observatory is less than 500 feet from the field. The field will appear bright from the observatory and will reflect light into the surrounding area, including the observatory. This reflected light ruins the “seeing” and disrupts the dark adaptation of an observer’s eyes during the time the lights are in use and conditions (e.g., lack of cloud cover) permit observation to take place. BIFC paid for a lighting design review by International Dark-Skies Association. The supplier of these systems has approached DarkSkies Northwest (https://www.darkskiesnorthwest.org) and the latter indicates they are supportive of installation of these lights to serve as a demonstration of how the technology can aid the dark-sky network mission. DarkSkies Northwest is the northwest chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association (http://darksky.org). BPAA believes these lights do aid in protecting the night sky but not in a situation where the observatory is so close. (Perhaps some sort of demonstration could be set up.) Roosevelt High School has Musco lighting (similar to the proposal) that was installed several years ago. BPAA mentioned that we could talk about the lighting with the new Bainbridge High School principal who was previously principal at Roosevelt. BPAA Discussion BPAA remains opposed to the lights. BPAA has a lease with BIMPRD until 2035 for exclusive use of the Helix building for the purposes set forth in their 501(c) articles of incorporation (bpastro.org). They are a long-time, respected tenant that provides access to telescopes and public education about astronomy and science. Although BPAA has regularly scheduled programming they also have a need to access to the dark sky at Battle Point Park on short notice during a good-weather window, the arrival of an unexpected comet, or other celestial event. Comets are most spectacular when near the sun, that is shortly after sunset. This conflicts with early evening lighted field use. This short-notice BPAA often needs is in conflict with planned use by YRFC and others. Frank Petrie stated that the BPAA is committed to preserving the dark night sky for the benefit of the public, not just their members.
- Battle Point Park Field Lighting Meeting Page 4 June 18, 2021 Battle Point Alliance Discussion 1. The Battle Point Alliance opposes the lights for previously stated reasons. Some of the most notable concerns are traffic and noise at night. 2. They want the search for an alternative site to utilize a different process than one focusing only on the needs of the BIFC and include a larger group of stakeholders. Peter Murchie said they had done a lot of work researching alternative sites and did not have the “bandwidth” to organize a new process but would participate. 3. BPA want to remain a part of the discussion and wish to be included in all updates and communications. 4. They are developing a website (battlepointalliance.com) as is the BIFC. The BIFC will have an FAQ portion. 5. BPA is working on a Position Statement regarding the lighting proposal for Battle Point Park and will share it with BIFC and others. 6. BPA has so many questions for BIFC that it doesn’t work well to ask these and receive complete answers at these meetings. BPA may submit written questions to BIFC. Peter Murchie welcomed receiving these questions as it would assist with their effort to develop FAQs for their proposal. General Discussion There were concerns expressed by BIFC about misinformation appearing on Facebook and other places to the detriment of all concerned. The websites are designed to help get the positions stated in clear and unambiguous terms. No action items came from the meeting. BPA is working on their position statement and website; BIFC is working on their website. All agreed we would remain in good contact and continue to share information and ideas. BIFC said they would give at least several weeks’ notice of any intention to return this issue to the BIMPRD Board. Scott Daniels asked for several months. Terry Lande said that he is looking at this issue coming back to the Board in the Fall, and a follow up meeting with the Board would likely take place after that. The meeting concluded at 4:30 PM. Peter Moseley Linda Sohlberg 6/19/21
- Attachment 1 BIFC Battle Point Lighting Meeting Agenda 6/18/21 The primary objective of the meeting is to allow our respective groups (BPAA, Battle Point Alliance, Year-Round Fields Coalition) time together to consider the matter of the proposal to add, with a conditional use agreement, lighting at BPP Fields #4 and #5 (synthetic turf area), recap and expand on the prior meeting, discuss respective viewpoints, interests, and suggestions on the issues. • Agenda Review and introductions as needed (BPAA – Peter Moseley facilitating) • Year-Round Fields Coalition presentation on proposed ‘use approach’ without interruption – 8 minutes (explanation of with-whom an agreement would be made, how long it would last and who would enforce it). • Neighbors presentation without interruption – 8 minutes. • BPAA presentation without interruption – 8 minutes. • Parks District comment/presentation (Terry Lande – ??). • Brief presentation on BHS Utilization/New field development idea – BPAA Peter Moseley. • Discussion on expectations and hopefully agreement on how we are communicating out to our partners, members and advocates the summary of our meetings. Summary and Next Steps We also agree with your suggested approach to the meeting for us all to try to stay positive and constructive with our interactions and identify suggestions and solutions. Notes
BIFC BATTLE POINT LIGHTING PROPOSAL
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND METRO PARK & RECREATION DISTRICT LINKS
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