A battle over a state-funded construction project has again pitting the Anchorage School District against a school’s surrounding neighbors.
At Monday night's meeting the Planning and Zoning Commission, the homeowners won out: in a vote of four in favor, three against, and two absent, the new amenities will not be built. Five votes were needed for the motion to pass.
South High School wanted to add new facilities that would allow football games, track meets and soccer games to be played at home.
After Monday night's decision, it was unclear if the school wold be able to appeal. School officials said they were not sure sure what their next step would be.
Nearby homeowners worried that adding bleachers, bright lights and a new stadium speaker system will bring on more noise to their south Anchorage neighborhood.
Others who supported the additions say they just want to play home games on their home turf.
Turnagain View Estates Homeowners Association, which represents more than 160 homes in the area, had been battling the school district over adding the new additions to the football field.
The new additions would have meant that South High’s football team would be able to play games at home, with the bleachers being able to seat up to 1,600 people.
The homeowners association had spent more than $50,000 in legal fees fighting the stadium project.
The president of the association, Alex Slivka, argued that the school’s original plan was to only use the field for practice, and not for big games that bring on noise, lighting and traffic.
“Noise and light, which they can’t buffer, will just have a huge negative impact on this neighborhood. It is a violation of the Hillside district plan, as well as the noise ordinance. We really just want them to obey the law,” Slivka said.
“You want the kids to be kids, to play in front of their home, their crowd and their family. It’s just a shame that we have to sit and do this for something the community really needs and wants,” said John Lewis, South High Schools head football coach.