Welcome to Preserve Ross Valley
We are a neighborhood group from Greenbrae, Larkspur and Kentfield, and we oppose the proposal to install lights at Marin Catholic stadium because of the noise, light, traffic, and other environmental pollution those lights would bring to our community. Such a development would dramatically transform our neighborhood, bringing roaring crowds into our living rooms and bedrooms on most nights of the year. And it is not only we who will bear this. If the Marin Catholic field lights are allowed, no future generation in this neighborhood will ever truly know an unspoiled, quiet evening in the fall, winter, or spring. We share this neighborhood with Marin Catholic, and we both need to be mindful and respectful of its future.
Light: Using new lighting technology or not, the four 80-foot light towers would be unsightly and would illuminate a large swath of Ross Valley. Views toward and from Mt. Tam would be permanently marred, even when the lights are off. This degraded condition may be consistent with some urban settings, but is inappropriate for Marin County.
Noise: Neighbors of MC already experience practice and game noise during the daytime all week. The disruption to peaceful evenings is an unacceptable imposition on residents, who should not be asked to tolerate such a transformation of their own neighborhood.
Traffic: Traffic along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Ross Valley is at such a logjam, the County is spending $13 million to study and alleviate the problem between US 101 and the Town of Ross. Even after this project, the traffic flow will rate a grade of C, according to the County. MC is in the middle of this heavily impacted stretch. The stadium lights would generate even more traffic right at rush hour, obviously a negative development and counter to the effort to improve the corridor. Parking for 1,500 attendees does not exist and would spill cars into nearby neighborhoods searching for a spot.
Environment: Nearby Corte Madera Creek is along a flyway and is a nesting area for a variety of waterfowl. Some of these birds such as the Ridgway’s Rail are on the federally endangered species list, and are therefore protected. Although the impact of the lights and related noise on this sensitive habitat has yet to be studied in detail, the night-time light and sound pollution would likely adversely impact the wildlife in the creek and wetlands.
Marin Catholic High School has been a good neighbor for more than 60 years. Daytime use of its athletic fields is accepted by our community, including Saturday use. And the school’s academic, athletic and social life has flourished under this arrangement. But now Marin Catholic is pursuing a project that could undo these long time friendly relations—solely for a purpose we do not believe is necessary. The installation of the lights will significantly change the use of its campus, and night-time use will be fundamentally detrimental to the quality of life in our community.
Field light proposals have been attempted in the past as well:
Marin Catholic tried to have lights installed several years ago during Hal Brown’s tenure as
Supervisor. To his credit, Hal Brown immediately recognized the destructive potential of the lights and all their effects, and he played a pivotal role in dismissing that proposal.
Now, Marin Catholic is attempting to have lights installed again. We believe these lights will be more damaging than helpful, and will not rise to the level of the “community benefit” described by Marin Catholic. We believe the main beneficiary will be Marin Catholic, not those of us who live in this neighborhood.
If Marin Catholic is truly concerned about being a good neighbor, respecting the environment it inhabits, and providing a lighted stadium for its teams, then we would respectfully suggest they look into negotiating a use agreement with neighboring fields such as College of Marin, or consider a new location for its athletic facilities.
Let’s all focus on our shared goal of maintaining this great neighborhood we all inhabit.
We thank you for your support, and look forward to successfully protecting our neighborhood from this proposal.