York athletic teams, marching band and other school groups soon may be allowed to use York's Clarence D. East Stadium virtually unencumbered, thanks to new lighting and sound systems that are reportedly not intrusive to neighbors.
Elmhurst's Development, Planning and Zoning Committee recommended Monday night that York be able to use the field—with stadium lights and sound—from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays. Lights also would be allowed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but district officials said they hope to restrict the use of lights to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
The public address system would only be used for scheduled games, and neither lights nor sound would be used on Sundays. These rules would be enforced in the same manner as any other city ordinance.
The key to maximum use of the field is the installation of new lights; it is reported they will virtually eliminate light spill into the adjacent neighborhoods. A new sound system also will greatly reduce the amount of noise reaching neighbors’ homes.
The committee signed off on an 18-month trial period to see if the will reduce the impact on neighbors. Funding for the lights was provided by an anonymous donor, who will be paid back through private fund-raising.
The 18-month ordinance includes a sunset clause that expires February 2013.
The sunset clause comes at the request of a that worked with city officials in crafting the proposed ordinance.
"The community should be very proud of this group and how they came together. The request is a win-win for both sides," District 205 said Monday. "(The proposal is) a balance between using a facility for benefiting the youth of Elmhurst, and at the same time honoring the citizens in that neighborhood and serving their needs."
The issue first . That's when District 205 sought to amend a 1986 ordinance that permitted the stadium to be used 12 nights a year. All sides agree that ordinance has not been followed.
The debate led to which makes recommendations to the City Council.
City Attorney Don Storino said the proposed ordinance advanced Monday would contain a clause allowing for extension without going back to City Hall at the end of the 18-month period.
Second Ward Alderman Norm Leader said he hoped the neighborhood could be self-governed by District 205 officials and residents.
"In my mind, in probably all of our minds here, it’s a matter of enforcement as a front line position on the part of (District) 205," he said Monday. "In other words, we’re counting on you."
The proposal heads the City Council, which will vote on the committee report July 18. If approved, the council would revisit the issue via ordinance vote during its Aug. 1 meeting.