Marin Catholic High School’s application to install night lighting for 514 sports events and practices a year at its outdoor football field will require 90 days to complete, officials said.
“Marin Catholic requested a 90-day extension until June 12 to submit additional information,” according to Thomas Lai, assistant director of the county Community Development Agency. “It’s not unexpected given that there are a number of items and project clarifications, including technical studies, that the county has required” that will take time to complete, he added.
Senior planner Jocelyn Drake has concluded the project may conflict with several planning policies and probably will require an initial environmental study.
School officials conceded they wanted night lighting at the stadium when plans for new bleachers and other facilities won county approval three years ago, but dropped lights after county staffers advised night lights would undergo rigorous review. The project surfaced again late last year and spurred neighborhood alarm about views, noise and traffic.
The lighting system would include four 80-foot-tall light poles with fixture arrays installed on the 10-yard line at each side of the field to illuminate football, soccer, lacrosse and other games and practices.
The county has asked for more information about two dozen issues, including the maximum number of athletes, coaches and staff anticipated for practices “broken down into time blocks per day and per season … when the lights will be utilized.”
In addition, high school officials have been asked to determine “the maximum number of athletes and spectators expected per day, per season, for events when lights will be utilized.”
The county also seeks photo-simulations of the project from various neighborhood locations, wants a scale model site plan, seeks a project “cross section that includes the background” as well as a biological site study, and more detailed work on studies involving illumination, acoustics and parking.
Mike Bentivoglio, a Marin Catholic regent monitoring the permit process, said experts are at work on traffic, sound, lighting, biological and related reports.
“It’s a normal part of the process,” he said. “The county is being thorough.”