Planning & Zoning Commission members who, at their previous meeting, were at odds over allowing 30-foot-high temporary field lights, on Tuesday seemed in agreement that the lights could be raised that high.
Commission members discussed a proposal from the Darien Junior Football League that temporary sports field lights be allowed as high as 30 feet—up from the 20 feet currently allowed—if the operators obtain a special permit.
The commission also discussed special permits for 30-foot lights submitted by both the DJFL and Darien Public Schools.
According to a memorandum that commission members referred to and that seemed to have been written by Planning & Zoning Department staff, if a permit for lighting is initially approved, P&Z staff and commission members would examine adjustments made in the lighting at some point during the first few weeks it was set up.
Applicants would adjust the lights by trying to angle them down, move them or possibly shield them as far as practicable. Once the least intrusive light positions were established that still allowed the fields to be lit for early evening practice sessions, the P&Z Commission would set those as the requirements for the length of the special permit.
John Sini, a league official who has been the most active in pushing for approval for 30-foot lights, said he wasn't told about the memo beforehand and hadn't read it in full, so he didn't know quite what to think.
But he added that in general, the proposal now getting support from a majority of the commission seemed favorable.
In general, he said, "it's consistent with what we asked for."
If the commission can iron out the final details of the language of the zoning change, they may vote on it next week, Vice Chairman John Spain said. The commission could then vote quickly afterward on the special permits requested by the DJFL and Darien High School, he said.
The zoning ordinance change allowing for the special permits would only let the permits be granted for use on public property, nowhere else.