Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Board of Trustees approval to move forward with both lighting and sound at this time.
Why did Edgewood High School table its addendum to the Master Plan with the Plan Commission? Two specific issues lead to the decision to table our addendum to the Master Plan with the Plan Commission: • One of our neighborhood associations specifically requested that we postpone our public hearing with the Plan Commission in order to discuss additional options in further detail; • The very real challenge of identifying scheduling options for our athletic program in 2019 led us to explore alternatives that are not regulated by zoning code or the master plan. Those options include lighting and sound upgrades. These do not require an amendment to the Master Plan and would not require Plan Commission or City Council approval.
Don’t lighting and sound upgrades to the Goodman Athletic Complex require an amendment to the Master Plan? Installation of outdoor lighting and permits for sound amplification are not regulated by the zoning code or master plans. Chapters 10 and 24 of the City ordinances, respectively, regulate the process for installing outdoor lighting and identifying acceptable sound levels. Memorial High School upgraded lighting on its athletic field in 2018 by complying with the requirements of Chapter 10.
If lighting and sound did not require an amendment to the Master Plan, why did Edgewood High School include these items in its recent addendum request to the City Plan Commission? When we first began exploring the option of installing a permanent structure for seating, concessions, restrooms and storage over two years ago we were instructed by city staff that we needed to amend our Master Plan for these upgrades. We also believed at the time that lighting and sound would require an amendment. It was not until recently that we learned that lighting and sound were regulated by City ordinances and did not require an amendment to the Master Plan.
Is Edgewood High School still pursuing amendments to its Master Plan? If the Edgewood High School Board of Trustees believes it is in the best interest of the school and its athletic programs to continue pursuing a permanent structure for seating, concessions, restrooms and storage we will need to continue the formal amendment process outlined in our Master Plan. This process would include additional conversations with our neighbors.
Is Edgewood High School planning to host night games at the Goodman Athletic Complex if the permit for lighting is granted by the City? Yes. Edgewood leadership has been up front for years about the continued desire to have a true home field that would enrich our athletic program by hosting night games. The latest LED lighting technology that we are proposing to install will minimize glow, light spill and glare. This new technology, along with the height of the poles in our plans, will ensure lighting from the limited number of night games will not go beyond our property. The plan meets and even exceeds the city lighting requirements.
Are the number of night games going to be limited as discussed during the Master Plan amendment process with neighborhood associations and elected officials? City zoning does not limit the number of night games that can be played on school facilities that are zoned as a Campus Institutional District. Edgewood, like all Madison High Schools, is zoned Campus Institutional.
The limitation on the number of night games was part of the negotiation process between Edgewood High School, the neighborhood associations and the city regarding the request for an amendment to the Master Plan that would allow for the installation of a permanent structure for seating, concessions, restrooms and storage. If the Board of Trustees decides to move forward with the requested amendment to the Master Plan for a permanent structure, it is our assumption the dialogue regarding Edgewood High School’s willingness to voluntarily limit the number of night games would continue.
Doesn’t the Master Plan only allow Edgewood High School the ability to hold practice games and physical education programs at the Goodman Athletic Complex? Edgewood High School has an almost century-long continuous history of playing games and other activities on its athletic field. In 2013, Edgewood, like all Madison High Schools, was zoned as a Campus Institutional District. Under this zoning designation, indoor and outdoor sports are a clearly defined acceptable use.
What about the concerns raised by neighbors regarding the upgrades Edgewood High School is proposing to the Goodman Athletic Complex? Throughout this process, we have engaged in multiple conversations with our neighbors and city officials to ensure we followed the Master Plan guidelines and were respectful of those around us. We conducted thorough research, adjusted proposals and sought compromises to ensure the best possible outcome. And, we met or exceeded every requirement outlined by local ordinances and the Master Plan. Our application for outdoor lighting under city ordinance and our upgrade to our sound amplification system reflect and address the issues raised by our neighbors. Our intent is to continue discussions with our neighbors on the permanent structure, a sound barrier and other items that would require an amendment to the Master Plan.
If Edgewood’s application for lighting is approved by the city, how soon would the high school install the lights and begin hosting night games? The installation of the new LED technology on the Goodman Athletic Complex field would need to occur by the spring of 2019 in order to accommodate spring athletic programming.
Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the proposed changes to the Edgewood Campus Master Plan
Why is Edgewood High School seeking changes to its Campus Master Plan? Edgewood High School has a nearly 100 year history of using its athletic facilities for physical education classes, practices and daytime sports events.
When the Edgewood Campus Master Plan was developed and approved in 2014, both the track and field were in terrible condition. Thanks to a generous gift from the Goodman Foundation, a state of the art track and field was built for Edgewood High School, neighbors and the community to use and enjoy.
This facility was truly one of the best in the state, but because lighting was not yet available, varsity games could not be played at night as desired by most conferences in the WIAA. Edgewood has always desired lights to play home varsity games on their own field, but in trying to be good neighbors they would not seek approval for lights until lighting technology was available that would not impact the quality of life for homes near the field or in the surrounding neighborhoods. At that time, lights were only being talked about.
When lighting technology became available in 2015, soon after the Master Plan was approved, Edgewood High School elected to communicate to the neighbors through the Neighborhood Liaison Committee that they would follow the City process in making a formal amendment to the Master Plan to improve seating and add lighting and sound to the facility.
Two major factors prompted us to begin the formal amendment process over a year and a half ago, as outlined in our Campus Master Plan:
1. Our agreement with Middleton High School was no longer feasible. City of Madison fields only became available for Edgewood’s use after all city schools and sports have scheduled their games. This left Edgewood scrambling to find a location to host their games. This also made every game an “away” game and led to extensive coordination, security, safety and liability issues as well as the frustrations involved in having to call multiple locations “home” in the same season.
2. Advancements in both lighting and sound technology have made it possible to ensure that two of the major neighborhood concerns we acknowledged early in the Campus Master Plan process — light and sound — could now be addressed in a fashion that not only meets, but exceeds the City of Madison requirements.
As with our efforts during the original Campus Master Plan process, Edgewood High School remains committed to engaging with our neighbors and community partners as we follow the deliberative amendment process outlined in the 2014 Master Plan.
Does the Campus Master Plan allow for amendments? As with other City of Madison-approved Master Plans, the Edgewood Campus plan specifically details the City-required process for making amendments to the plan. Edgewood High School has spent the last year and a half following this process by engaging city officials, local neighborhood associations and our neighbors to ensure that the amendments we are seeking address neighborhood issues and meet or exceed City of Madison requirements.
Who ensures agreed-upon amendments are enforced? The amendment that Edgewood High School is seeking to enrich the Goodman Athletic Complex will include very specific requirements related to such things as the number of allowable night games, the specific times that lights are allowable and the fact that the Complex will not be available for other nighttime events. Edgewood is committed to adhering to these parameters and all of the agreed-upon restrictions will be fully enforceable by the City of Madison.
Wasn’t the original intent of the Goodman Athletic Complex to be for use as a practice field only? As mentioned previously, Edgewood High School has a decades-long history of using its athletic facilities not only for practice purposes, but actually hosting day-time sporting events and allowing access to the community for recreational purposes. The proposed amendments to our Master Plan do not change the intended usage of the Goodman Athletic Complex, but rather take advantage of new technologies that will allow for a limited number of night games and afford Edgewood the ability to host home events for all of its teams.
What, if any, concerns have been raised by neighbors and how is Edgewood responding to those concerns? As part of the Campus Master Plan amendment process and our commitment to positive neighborhood relations, Edgewood High School hosted neighborhood listening sessions to share our ideas and gather feedback from area residents. Those sessions helped identify the following areas that we have specifically addressed as we move through the process:
1. Lighting: The amended plan includes the incorporation of the latest LED lighting technology that will minimize glow, light spill and glare. This new technology, along with the height of the poles in our plans, will ensure that lighting from the limited number of night games will not go beyond our property. The plan meets and even exceeds the City lighting requirements.
2. Sound: The amended plan also includes a directional amplified sound system that is custom-designed for the site and meets all City sound requirements. The sound system will only be used during games and we have agreed to prohibit music being played over the PA system, with the exception of the national anthem. Edgewood High School continues to work with sound engineers to model natural sound and identify the best approaches for managing sound.
3. Traffic: Based on the study that was conducted as part of the Master Plan process, engineers concluded that traffic for the anticipated crowd size for the Athletic Complex would not increase and, in fact, could potentially decrease traffic during peak times due to the scheduling of events during non-peak travel hours. The Monroe St. entrance is to be used for all events.
4. Parking: The Edgewood campus currently has 560 parking stalls, a number that could accommodate even the largest anticipated crowd size so there should not be an increased parking impact on neighborhood streets. Visitors attending athletic events will be provided on-site parking information and discouraged from parking in the neighborhood.