May 4, 2021
Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District Board Members
7666 NE High School Road Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
RE: Questions/Concerns Regarding Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park Park Board of Commissioners:
A number of Bainbridge Island residents have recently formed a group called the “Battle Point Night Skies Alliance” (BPNSA) to address the re-emergence of a stadium lighting proposal for the turf fields at Battle Point Park. This group consists of residents who live in close proximity to Battle Point Park, and is expanding to include others outside the neighborhood who also have concerns about the potential impacts of the Bainbridge Island Football Club’s April 1, 2021, proposal for stadium lighting. BPNSA members enjoy many of the park’s benefits and support opportunities for physical activity and youth sports at Battle Point and at all Island parks. Although well intentioned, stadium lighting has the potential for unintended consequences for many neighborhood residents and the Battle Point Astronomical Association. The impacts discussed in this letter need to be carefully considered prior to any decision on the proposal. The Battle Point Astronomical Association (BPAA) Board of Directors has also voted to endorse this letter. We the undersigned believe that good public process requires that the Park District and Park Board provide answers to numerous questions raised by the BPNSA group and other park users, including the questions below:
Question 1: In 2005, Battle Point neighbors and many others opposed adding night lighting at the park and the Board agreed that the impacts were too great to proceed — so why is the Park Board now considering a new lighting proposal? BPNSA members believe this proposal backtracks on the compromise reached in 2005 on stadium lights for Battle Point Park. Many in the group are frustrated and have expressed a feeling of betrayal regarding the Park Board’s consideration of yet another lighting proposal. The Park Board decision in 2005 resulted in the installation of artificial turf fields that increased traffic on Battle Point and Arrow Point roads, and much increased use of the park. Stadium lighting creates a significant additional use, pushing impacts into evening hours. We believe that is inconsistent with the rural nature of the Battle Point Park neighborhood and does not reflect the values and interests of Island residents who use the park but don’t principally play sports at the park.
Question 2: In a rural residential neighborhood without sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, or white striping on the edge of the roadways, why would the Park Board and City support a proposal that would create a new safety hazard by bringing substantially increased traffic — already heavy at times for a residential area — into the neighborhood during nighttime hours? Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park traffic became much heavier following the installation of turf fields, and even heavier around the perimeter of the park since Parks closed the road through the middle of the park, funneling sport field users through a single entrance on the west side. No improvements to the roadways leading to the park have been installed or planned to address the increased traffic and the safety issues this has created.
Question 3: Why is the Park Board considering a proposal that represents a threat to the viability of Battle Point Astronomical Association (BPAA) and the unique resource provided by the Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory to the entire Island community? The Park District signed a 35-year lease with the BPAA in 2012, providing some certainty to the BPAA, neighborhood residents, and others Island residents who value the park and Observatory for night sky exploration.
Question 4: How would the Park Board address the already problematic septic issues at the park which BPNSA believes would be exacerbated by the stadium lighting proposal? The park’s septic system is already at its maximum to the point where port-a-potties must be brought in for sporting events, movie nights, summer concerts, etc. How would sewage overflows and insufficient drain field functionality be addressed?
Question 5: What assurance is there that nighttime stadium lights would not produce light trespass into the surrounding neighborhoods from October through March (the time period proposed)?
Question 6: What assurance would there be that the use of lighting, once installed, would not be expanded in the future, including allowing lighting later in the evening, and through the addition of other lighting in the park, e.g., parking lot lighting, lighting for other sport fields, etc.?
Question 7: Does the Park Board understand that the proposal potentially lessens property values in the neighborhood and a creates a potential taking of property rights?
Question 8: How does the Park Board justify asking the Battle Point residents to once again absorb and support another large-scale activity in an already heavily used park, this time asking for support of nighttime park use with resulting increases in traffic, noise, people in all parts of the park, etc.? Even without nighttime uses, the number of current activities at Battle Point Park is a very long list and new activities are added each year. The group has supported new public uses of the park, but is highly concerned about impacts from night time use of the park.
Question 9: Why is the Park Board considering nighttime lighting at Battle Point instead of exploring other alternatives, including adding lighting at other parks or properties with much less use and less impact to surrounding neighborhoods? For example, off Island, there are four acres of lighted turf fields being proposed at the Poulsbo Events and Recreation Center. BPNSA would be a willing participant in a broader community discussion about the need and the available alternatives for additional sport fields and nighttime lighting, if a need for night lighting is clearly demonstrated.Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park.
Question 10: What plans do the Park District, Park Board, and Bainbridge Island Football Club have to notify and discuss this proposal with the entire Battle Point Park neighborhood?
Question 11: How would the Park Board address other environmental impacts expected as a result of the proposal, including among other things impacts to wildlife? Would a State Environmental Policy Act review occur?
Question 12: Does the proposal comply with the City Comprehensive Plan, City zoning, the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance, etc.? Would a Conditional Use Permit be required? The BPNSA looks forward to hearing the responses to these questions and expects the Park District and Park Board to establish a fair process to address the needs of youth and adult sports on the Island that looks Island wide, not just at Battle Point Park. BPNSA requests that the Park District and Park Board address the interests and concerns of the neighborhood and other Island stakeholders and find solutions that ultimately work for all Island residents.
Signed (listed alphabetically),
Kim Anicker and John Willson 4791 NE North Tolo Road Gary and Laurie Axling 11151 Battle Point Drive NE Battle Point Astronomical Association Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory P.O. Box 10914, Bainbridge Island Bill and Kathy Beck 820 Cherry Avenue NE Ken Bennett and Susan Marie Anderson 4496 NE North Tolo Road Michele and Charles Bombardier 10589 Battle Point Drive NE Eva and Jay Counts 10919 Skinner Road NE Scott and Betsy Daniels 10699 Battle Point Drive NE Mari Ellingsen 11542 Arrow Point Drive NE Bob and Princie Falkenhagen 11468 Arrow Point Drive NE Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park Page 4 Farrah Ferguson 11688 NE Sunset Loop Jamie Fleming and Nicole Chilivis 10878 Skinner Road NE James and Neena Forsher 5248 NE Morgan Avenue Allison Garrison 5052 NE North Tolo Road Lorna Jean Giger 8669 Battle Point Drive NE Amy Goldthwaite 11522 Arrow Point Drive NE Daniel Gottlieb 4880 NE Tolo Road Randy Groves and Melissa Sherrow 10644 Hyla Avenue NE David and Cindy Harrison 12249 Arrow Point Loop Pam Harrison and Bill Nakao 10565 Mandus Olson Road NE Takahisa and Tomoe Hasegawa 10795 Skinner Road NE Sara and Thomas Hayward 11579 Battle Point Drive NE Helen Hendrickson 5232 NE Frey Road Adrian and Jane Hobden 10813 Olallie Lane NE Martha Horike-Pyne 10895 Skinner Road NE Leigh Jones-Bamman and Richard Bamman 10739 Battle Point Drive NE Elizabeth Keegan 11012 Skinner Road NE Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park Page 5 Deborah Kohli 11099 Battle Point Drive NE Alan and Kathy Krause 11024 Arrow Point Drive NE Elana Lesser and Cliff Ruby 11615 Olympic View Drive NE Alison Lum 8191 NE Mabrey Lane Karen Mattock 11012 Skinner Road NE Jenny Morber 11808 Sunset Avenue NE Rick Nakata 10685 Battle Point Drive NE Ernie and Nancy Olson 4527 NE Tolo Road Linda Owens 11018 Arrow Point Drive NE Sarah Pearl and Barry Sacks 10815 Olallie Lane NE Jim and Pam Porter 4789 NE North Tolo Road Eric and Jan Rasmussen 11721 Sunset Avenue Valerie and Fred Reinke 10950 Skinner Road NE Susan Rennels and Robert Brown 10591 Battle Point Drive NE Mary Romeo, Elisa Romeo, and Adam Foley 10770 Arrow Point Drive NE Jan Willem Rosenboom, Alice Levisay, and Johanna Rosenboom 11031 Skinner Road NE Phyllis and Arnold Rowland 10913 Olallie Lane NE Stadium Lighting Proposal for Battle Point Park Page 6 Alan and Joyce Rudolph Bainbridge Island Stephen and Pamela Ruhl 1754 Lewis Place NW Jill and Bob Russell 11200 Skinner Road NE Ken and Colleen Scott 10258 Battle Point Drive NE Gene Seligmann and Ki Kilcher 10899 Olallie Lane NE Kris and Rob Shanafelt 4505 NE North Tolo Road Nancy Shurtleff 4545 NE Tolo Road Richard Storch and Lois Reitz 11430 Arrow Point Drive NE Mary and Frank Stowell 6223 Blakely Avenue NE Rex and Amy Tibbens 11474 Arrow Point Drive NE Sue and Jay Trinidad 10999 Skinner Road NE Virginia Trinidad 10890 Skinner Road NE Anne and Barney Voegtlen 4879 NE North Tolo Road Dallas Young 11071 Olallie Lane NE Cc: Bainbridge Island City Council Members Terry Lande, BI Metro Park and Recreation District Steven Powell, Bainbridge Review