Laurelhurst Community Club†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Serving 2800 Households in Seattleís Laurelhurst Neighborhood


Ballfield Lighting Design Guidelines/Use and Field Scheduling Policy/

Sports Participation Policy -- Public Hearing before the Board of Park Commissioners

April 11, 2002


            Good evening.  My name is Jeannie Hale and I represent the Laurelhurst Community Club serving 2800 households in one of Seattle's northeast Seattle neighborhoods.  We appreciate the work you have done in developing ballfield lighting design guidelines, use and field scheduling policies and sports participation policies.  And, we appreciate your continuing review of the Joint Athletic Facilities Development Program.  We do, however, have concerns that we hope you will consider.  


We believe that there must be an appropriate balance to address the growing need for athletic fields, while at the same time being sensitive to the concerns of impacted neighbors.  To achieve this balance, it is important that the Parks Department work with ALL interested and affected parties.  Whether it is an organized sports league, a school team or neighbors that want to use the fields or are impacted by the fields--they should all be included in formulating appropriate policies.  This has not happened.  


            Many of the policies that you are considering tonight should be issues that are addressed in the Joint Athletic Facilities Development Program (JAFDP).  It is not sufficient that you provide these policies to the Council during their consideration of the JAFDP.  This is because all interested folks have not been at the table in developing the policies.  And also because the JAFDP ignores many legitimate concerns raised by neighbors of fields. 


            We believe it is important that advocates of organized playfield sports and playfield neighbors work together.  Before approving the policies before you tonight and further development or increase in scheduled use of athletic fields we urge you to adopt the recommendations of the Seattle Residents for Fair Field Lighting, including its proposal for community responsive field development.  We also think it is very important that the Parks Department formally responds to Council President Peter Steinbrueck and the issues raised in the Central Staff analysis of the JAFDP. 


            We have great difficulty in understanding the unwillingness of the Parks Department to work with ALL citizens.  We hope you will reverse this trend and support an appropriate balance between the need for athletic fields and the impacts upon surrounding communities.  At minimum, lights should be turned out at 9 p.m., mitigation measures should be considered and there should be unscheduled time to allow parents and their kids to use nearby fields.  Our taxpayer dollars pay for the fields and everyone should be able to use them, even if they are not part of an organized league.  Rather than approve the policies before you tonight, we urge you to include standards in the JAFDP to address the needs and concerns of field neighbors.


Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631


cc:  Mayor Nickels, City Councilmembers, Superintendent Joseph Olchefske