University Heights City Council meeting highlights [9-19-11]
SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
- Congratulations to John Carroll University
- Anti-poaching proposal
- Shula Stadium
- Purvis Pool
All council members were present.
Congratulations to John Carroll University
Mayor Infield congratulated John Carroll University for being ranked by U.S. News and World Report as seventh among universities in the Midwest that offer masters degree programs.
Mayor Infield announced that an anti-poaching proposal is being worked on by County Executive Ed Fitzgerald and will be distributed to council. The core of the proposal is that if a company with a payroll exceeding $500,000 moves from one community to another within the county, the previous community will continue to receive half of the former tax payments for five years.
John Carroll University (JCU) had requested a change to restrictions on the use of lights and sound systems at Shula Stadium in order to extend use of the stadium to 11 p.m. seven nights a week. Tonya Strong Charles, director of media relations and communications at JCU, noted that this request was already a compromise from JCU's wish for no constraints, and that what the university was seeking to be on a par with other Division III schools, which are required to provide a wide variety of opportunities and adequate facilities to their students. She explained that most games end at 9 p.m. and, following that, two one-hour practice sessions are needed for the many intramural teams and clubs including soccer and lacrosse.
Frank Krakowski, from Paladin Professional Sound, reported that the sound system settings were at or below levels specified in the original agreement. He explained that speakers can be focused like spotlights with a 25 to 30 degree cone. All but two of the speakers face West, away from the residential neighborhood. The current restrictions are lower than standard, with 75 decibels at football games and 65 decibels at intramural events. If the levels are reduced any lower, spoken language would become muddy, but music levels could be reduced to half or less for speakers facing East and North.
Mike Linpach, of Musco Lighting, reported that some upgrades to newer technology are available which would reduce glare, but these options are cost prohibitive. The current system meets the requirements. Because the different technologies can’t be combined on a single pole, an entire light pole would need to be replaced at a cost of $35,000 per pole. Linpach also said that trees only needed to extend five feet above the fence line to block the lights from the houses. He acknowledged that he had examined the lights during daylight hours and only from the sidewalk.
Several residents came forward for public comment. One resident agreed that trees do shield the lighting at street level, but not from his bedroom on the second floor. Another resident presented a petition signed by many of his neighbors supporting the university.
Council voted to allow the stadium lights to be on at full level until 9 p.m., and at a reduced level until 10:30 p.m, Saturday through Thursday. The sound system use was not extended. In addition, the university may have up to thirty special events per year at which they could use full lights and sound until 10:30 pm, but must notify the city before each event. Finally, the university must plant trees where there are currently gaps in order to help block the lights. Councilman Steven Sims and Vice Mayor Frankie Goldberg voted against the proposal.
Council authorized an agreement with the City of Bedford Heights for housing City of University Heights prisoners at the Bedford Heights City jail.
Council approved a motion to advertise for bids for painting Purvis Pool.
LWV observer: Wendy Deuring.
These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports.The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.
These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.
League of Women Voters
Chapter co-chair for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Cuyahoga Area