Lights Study and Simulated Photos
The submitted study is not adequate to assess visual impacts of increased nighttime use of the fields and parking lot and should be deemed incomplete.
The pictures and calculations only purport to simulate turning on lights for the proposed new 80-foot poles. The project plans contemplate 30 additional light standards used throughout the project. These lights are not necessarily directed downward or using the same technology. The study’s calculations and pictures do not include increased use of parking lot lights, increased use of lights for paths and other new light sources included in the project proposal. The analysis is therefore not capturing the total impact of the proposed project.
The submitted simulation pictures are flawed. Examining the photo renderings shows that the “comparison” photos do not reflect the same time of day. This is obvious from looking at the sky portions of each photo, which do not match.
The photos do not represent how the project would look during the majority of its use – after dark with lights from the proposed four poles, accompanying lights and the parking lot lights turned on together.
The pictures are not from all appropriate locations. The addition of poles will impact the public’s view from many locations. The County’s incomplete notice from the 2012 application indicated that renderings of the visual impact of the poles should be done from Hal Brown Park, for instance. They should also be done from other locations around the proposed stadium lighting. This is not only a Greenbrae hillside issue.
Mt. Tamalpais is a designated visual resource under CEQA. Projects subject to CEQA compliance need to be considered for visual impacts of visual resources from public viewpoints. The addition of poles will directly impact the view of Mt Tam along Sir Frances Drake. Sir Frances Drake is a major thoroughfare in Marin County. Marin County has a long tradition of respecting views along roadways. Stretches of Coastal Route 1 also enjoy this protection. Marin County does not allow billboards along highways for similar reasons. The proposed stadium lights would significantly impact the public’s enjoyment of views.
The Light Study states that “[o]ur primary directive from Marin Catholic High School was to analyze a football field lighting design to determine the light impact with regard to the neighboring residences.” The light study provides no information about the impact of light on wildlife in the neighboring Corte Madera Creek wildlife areas. The creek area is much closer to MC than neighboring residences. Without this information, there is no objective way to assess the project under CEQA and other necessary California and Federal statutes and guidelines. As described above, the lack of setback for the southern and western poles in the applications heighten the need for a more complete analysis.
The drawings include various color-coding on pages E1.1 to E1.5 but it is not clear what the coding means.