Oak Brook Park District asking for new field lights
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:33AM
As work on its master plan projects moves forward, the Oak Brook Park District plans to ask the Village Board permission to install new field lights at Central Park and to expand current field light use.
With their new synthetic soccer field under construction, Executive Director Laure Kosey said the park district will ask the village to install lights at the new soccer field and increase the time existing lights can be on at the ball fields.
“We figured we might as well ask for all of them,” Kosey said, adding the lighting will help youth league use on the fields.
Kosey said leagues will use the new synthetic soccer field from April until mid-June and from September until mid-November.
“When the time changes and daylight savings time goes away is when we envision using the field a little later,” Kosey said.
At the baseball fields, Kosey said the park district will ask to keep the lights on 30 minutes longer, until 10:30 p.m. The lights now shut off automatically at 10 p.m.
“That request is coming from the little league so they can have doubleheaders,” Kosey said. “It’s happened twice this spring where the lights shut off during games. We’re not looking for them to play until 10:30 p.m., but looking for a buffer.”
Oak Brook Community Development Director Bob Kallien said the park district will need a variation to install the new lights at the soccer field, since they would exceed current height limits. They are similar to the ball field lights.
Kallien said the matter will be brought to the Village Board, which will refer it to the Zoning Board of Appeals for its Aug. 7 meeting.
The park district and the Forest Gate subdivision had discussions in 2005 when the ball field lights were first installed after resident complaints of “overflow lighting.”
“There was a lot of redirection and screening,” Kallien said. “We came up with a lot of different things to lessen the impact on neighbors. At the end of the day, we were able to meet the needs, but it was a trying exercise.”
The soccer field is farther away from the Forest Gate subdivision than the ball fields, but Kosey said the park district has notified the Forest Gate board and composed letters to be sent to every Forest Gate resident.
“We’re trying to do our due diligence and be good neighbors,” Kosey said. “We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re just trying to make a great park district.”
Kosey said drainage work has been completed on the soccer field and the synthetic turf could be laid down next week. She hopes the new field is ready to be used by August.