Tennis courts

North Haven Quinnipiac Tennis Courts Project Delays

City residents worry less about the light and more about how the courts might increase student traffic on campus when its original purpose was only for graduate students.

Quinnipiac said it fixed the light intrusion issues for its eight new 50-foot streetlights, and city engineer Andrew Bevilacqua also said he believes the issues have been resolved.

However, commissioners this week asked the university to provide a list of local projects with similar lighting technology so they could visit those locations before considering the application.

“Photographs are photographs,” curator Brian Cummings said of Quinnipiac’s presentation on lighting technology. “We don’t know the point of view, we don’t know the benchmark. It’s very difficult to judge globally.

It has been more than a year since Quinnipiac intended to relocate its existing tennis courts due to the construction of its new health and wellness center, which will fully open in November.

The university originally planned to keep them on the Mount Carmel campus in Hamden, but faced a 35-foot light pole height limit in the city’s zoning code.

As Hamden considers changing the zoning code to allow taller streetlights, Quinnipiac is still watching Hamden, so he has two options, according to the university’s vice president for facilities and capital planning, Sal Filardi.

Asked which city the university would prefer, Filardi replied Hamden.

If the rezoning in Hamden were to be approved, Quinnipiac can go directly to that city’s Planning and Zoning Commission special permit process instead of having to appeal for a height limit exception.

Hamden town planner Eugene Livshits said on Monday the rezoning proposal would be back on the PZC agenda in October.

Quinnipiac’s schedule is to begin construction of the tennis courts in the summer for three months, Filardi said.

In North Haven, the main concern of residents was that the project would attract more undergraduate students, contradicting a promise made by the university in 2007 that the North Haven campus would only house academic buildings for graduate students. .

“If approved, the door is open for more sports facilities on the property,” said resident Mary White, noting that the campus is expected to be “quiet, academics-only.”

White said that while the project benefits Quinnipiac, it would negatively change the neighborhood because residents won’t be able to “sleep peacefully at night at 9 a.m., enjoy a family dinner,” among other activities she mentioned.

Noise from practices, games and after-hours parties was also on White’s list of concerns, asking commissioners to consider whether they should live next to campus.

Bernard Pellegrino, an attorney representing Quinnipiac, said where the courts are currently believed to be is a parking lot that is not frequently used. Courts would be an improvement in space, he said.

As for noise and the influx of traffic, Pellegrino said some residents had “exaggerated” the scope of Quinnipiac’s use of the tennis courts.

“It’s not the US Open like you can see on TV this week,” he said. “That is, for the most part, there will be a small number of students or faculty playing tennis.”

Ann Clark, another resident, said Quinnipiac only turned to North Haven when Hamden “refused to comply with rezoning demands” for the streetlight height restriction.

Early on, Clark said the North Haven campus was advertised to neighbors as a college campus, but it would also add a recreational aspect.

“It’s a big change for the property,” Clark said.

Filardi said undergraduate students already come to campus daily because some of their classes are held there. He noted that if all six courts were to be fully utilized with doubles matches, that would only amount to 24 players at a time.

The university also has a plan to put up a 6ft high fence to ensure an “absolute cut off” of light from the courts, in addition to additional plantings in the area.

Regardless of whether Quinnipiac will install its tennis courts in North Haven if approved, Filardi said the university would still be willing to address neighbors’ landscaping concerns by planting more.

No member of the public present spoke in favor of the project on Monday evening.

“What a surprise,” said PZC President Vern Carlson.

chatwan.mongkol@hearstmediact.com


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