COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Darden Towe Park Lighting

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Darden Towe Park Committee recommendations to set public hearings to receive public input on tennis and softball lighting.

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Elliott, Davis, Mullaney

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

July 2, 2008

 

      ACTION:                          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

     ACTION:     X                    INFORMATION:

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   No

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

At its April 2, 2008 meeting, the Board was advised of a citizen request to allow the tennis courts at Darden Towe Park to be lighted.  This matter was referred to the Darden Towe Park Committee (“Committee”) for a recommendation and a Committee meeting was held on May 29, 2008. 

 

In addition, on May 19, 2008, City Council adopted a new master plan for McIntire Park which defined the exact boundaries for the YMCA lease area and the desired redevelopment of the remaining park land in that area of McIntire Park.  The proposed location of the YMCA and the associated parking encroaches upon the existing two lighted softball fields.  The remaining softball field area is proposed to be converted to a rectangular athletic field to serve City and County residents. 

 

In order to maintain the current level of service for softball, City and County staff have recommended lighting the Charlottesville High School girl’s softball field and the three softball fields at Darden Towe Park.  The City expects to complete the Charlottesville High School field lighting in the spring of 2009.  The Darden Towe Park softball field lighting issue was added to the May 29th Committee agenda. 

 

The Darden Towe Park Agreement between the City and the County requires the mutual agreement of the City and County to light any competitive sport or other recreation facility at Darden Towe Park.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 1:  Enhance the Quality of Life for all Citizens.

Goal 2:  Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The Committee discussed the tennis and softball lighting as two separate issues.

 

Tennis Court Lighting

 

There are four unlighted tennis courts at Darden Towe Park.  Staff recommended to the Committee that the City and County mutually agree to allow these courts to be lighted for the following reasons:

 

Staff advised that the cost estimate for lighting the tennis courts is approximately $125,000 and that approval of the concept of lighting is not a commitment of funding.  The Committee also briefly discussed tennis court lighting technology and the importance of meeting the requirements of the County’s lighting ordinance if possible.  The Committee agreed that if the concept of lighting is approved by the Board and by Council, an acceptable funding and lighting plan will be required before proceeding with the project.

 

The Committee recommended that the Board and Council set this item for public hearing in order to receive input from the public prior to taking action.

 

Softball Field Lighting

 

There are three unlighted softball fields at Darden Towe Park.  Staff recommended to the Committee that the City and County mutually agree to allow these fields to be lighted for the following reasons:

 

Staff advised that the cost estimate for lighting the softball fields would be approximately $550,000 and that participation from other localities would be requested and other fund raising strategies considered.  The Committee generally had more concerns with the softball field lighting than the tennis lighting.  The Committee agreed that if the concept of lighting is approved by the Board and by Council, an acceptable funding and lighting plan will be required before proceeding with the project.

 

The Committee recommended that the Board and Council set this item for public hearing in order to receive input from the public prior to taking action.

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

There is no budget impact at this time.  Future project implementation will depend upon the development of an acceptable lighting plan and funding strategy.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board 1) set a public hearing for Wednesday, August 13, 2008 to receive public input on lighting the Darden Towe Park tennis courts and 2) set a public hearing for Wednesday, September 10, 2008 to receive public input on lighting the Darden Towe Park softball fields.

 

 

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