* Stadium Lighting Ordinance January 2016 Update: City Commission Votes "No"
An ordinance to regulate stadium lighting throughout the city of Kalamazoo has been voted down – at least for the immediate future.
But Kalamazoo College, due to a previous Contract Ordinance signed with the City in 2012, will be able to go ahead with a limited number of nights with lights (20 nights until 8:30pm) at its football stadium.
Bright stadium lights have been at the heart of arguments for and against a citywide lighting ordinance for a long time. Kalamazoo College said it needs lights for its football team and other athletic teams to practice longer and play. Without them, it has said, its teams are at a competitive disadvantage against other schools.
Residents of other neighborhoods say the glare of stadium lights will negatively impact their quality of life and, with added hours of activity that the lights allow, will be accompanied by noise and pedestrian traffic late into the evening. They fear it will reduce property values and be a security risk as more traffic invades the area.
Again, the Board of the OWDNA took the position to OPPOSE the city's draft ordinance for the following reasons:
1) Allows stadium lighting too close (201') to residential property 2) Does not adequately address the restrictions of renting lighted fields 3) Does not include meaningful noise restrictions 4) Does not adequately address clear cut parameters for the city to measure a violation of the proposed ordinance.
5) But MOST importantly, the ODWNA Board feels that draft does not accurately and comprehensively represent the vast majority of citizen and neighborhood association feedback that has been received by the city throughout the process. Instead of crafting an ordinance to serve all city neighborhoods, the number of uses and distances in the draft appears to be an awkward compromise to continue to accommodate the number of uses Kalamazoo College was granted in a separate 2012 ordinance (#1896) unique to their situation, rather than the number of uses and distances that would be protective of all City neighborhoods.
We hope to continue to work with the city and all interested parties to eventually draft and approve a Stadium Lighting Ordinance that addresses all of our above concerns, and that a true city-wide ordinance is enacted.
- Latest Mlive coverage HERE - ODWNA Board position on this draft HERE
- City's FINAL (11/5/15) Lighting Ordinance presented to Planning Commission (including Use chart) HERE