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How Westport Handles Field Lights: 70-80 Ft., Till 10 PM

Westport's restrictions on field lights are much looser than those imposed in Darien.

, field lights at and behind are only on in the early evening and no higher than 30 feet, but in Westport, even after a lawsuit, the rules are much looser.

After , the field lights will be illuminated for the first time on Sept. 14, according to a report in the Westport News.

The lights, which are mounted on four poles measuring 70 to 80 feet, will be used for the Wreckers' varsity football team's game against St. Joseph High School of Trumbull starting at 7 p.m., according to the report.

Use of the lights, however, will be restricted to 10 p.m., as per a lawsuit brought against the town by neighbors of the school, located on North Avenue, who objected to the original proposal to install them.

Last fall the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission and approved a stipulated judgment settling the lawsuit.

As per the judgment, the lights can be used no later than 8 p.m. on any day of the week from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, and no later than 10 p.m. on Saturdays, on a limited basis, for football games and special events only.

For more check out the Westport News report.

Editor's note: A version of this article by Westport Patch. This article was first published at 5:40 a.m. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch.

max August 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM
What was the winning argument? How was the town successful against a small group of well armed "neighbors"? Details?
John Sini August 30, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Max, The key in this case was that once the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission made adjustments to the zoning regs which allowed use of permanent field lighting at two distinct fields, the adjacent neighbors were fighting an uphill (and costly) battle in the courts. The Westport agreement (posted above) allows for practice and games until 8 pm in the fall and up to eight "special events" a year which allow student and youth sports games involving Westport teams until 10 pm on weeknights. Additional games under the lights for football playoffs are also allowed. Games without Westport teams participating are not permitted under the lights, so there is no chance that Staples will see FCIAC or State playoff games played by two other schools. I have posted a few photos that were taken during a recent evening that the lighting was tested. The techology installed at Staples is uses the most advanced technology available, therefore there was no spillage or tresspass light recorded during the test. The lighting height array was also desoigned specifically for the site and surrounding area - witness the two different heights of 70 and 80-feet. The Westport agreement represents a winning compromise, in my view. Perhaps this compromise is one that should be explored by those seeking a permanent field light solution in Darien.
bb August 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Westport has lights because the P+Z commissioner didn't make a deal with local neighbors and when the high school was built, the head of the BOE did not abut the high school grounds ensuring that a P+Z zoning regulation didn't change in the plans to rebuild a new school. Finally, the P+Z commission, after being roadblocked by two senior members of the comissions in the past, is seeing the light. It's about time.
Brian Del Gatto August 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Brian Del Gatto The simplest thing is that common sense, participant safety and competitive equality carried the day. Also I recall that the money for Westport lights was not taken from town funds. Its sad that Westport has a more forward thinking approach than Darien on this important issue. Its time that changed. Westport is a perfect end result model for Darien...hopefully without a town money draining litigation.
John Sini August 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Brian, you are correct. The $350k for Staples' lights was (quickly) raised via private funds. Thus far, the temporary lights at both DHS and Holahan have been paid for with private funds.
Kate August 31, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Both Darien and Westport should be grateful that temp lights are even an option. We moved from Darien to Western, Pa where our district (same size as Darien) decided to build a 10 million dollar football stadium rather then take the fiscally smart approach of rented lights. Our taxes are three times Darien's and out football team is terrible.

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