Residents Present Case Against Memorial Field Lights
It was residents' turn to present their case against lights at Memorial Field.
Is Glenbard West High School's Memorial Field a "sport court?"
Jim Ozog, the attorney representing the opposition group, Our Field Our Town, feels he got the answer he was looking for through his line of questioning with Memorial Field architect Patrick Brosnan.
"The question Mr. Brosnan, simply is this: Memorial Field is a sport court under our zoning code isn’t it, sir?"
"You could interpret it that way, yes," said Brosnan.
The admission was crucial for Ozog, as it might help his group leverage its position with the district. Ozog also believes some judicial courts might interpret Memorial Field as a sport court, which means neighbors within 1,200 feet of the field could sue.
Because of the admission, Ozog later announced his belief that the field is in violation of the current village code, and hinted at the possibility of a lawsuit.
After the exchange with Brosnan, Ozog's group finally got the chance to present their side of the case. This presentation comes after the district presented its side of the case for lights.
A slew of residents and one expert witness testified on behalf of Our Field Our Town. Those residents consider themselves "experts" after researching certain subjects surrounding the issues raised by the variances requested by Glenbard High School District 87.
Former Village President Joe Wark was the first to testify on behalf of the group. He outlined the history of the field and how it was acquired by the school district.
Then, Mary Ozog—Jim's wife and District 87 board member—introduced video that was shot near her home. The videos were played to illustrate the type of noise residents in the area surrounding Memorial Field hear on a regular basis during game times. Adrianne Gregory, who is not a realtor, also testified as to how the installation of lights would impact the values of homes surrounding the field. Gregory's facts were mainly based on a survey conducted by realtors in Alexandria Falls Church, VA, that cited a probable decline in home values following the installation of stadium lights.
Licensed architect and certified planner, George Kisiel was the expert used to counter the district's zoning and variance requests. Kisiel asserted that the way the field is positioned is a "self-created hardship." According to Kisiel, a self-created hardship does not qualify the district for the approval of its requests. In the end, Kisiel said it comes down to,
"Is the property owner deprived of rights or deprived of their desires?"
Our Field Our Town will continue testimony at the next plan commission meeting, which is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.