Thu10302014

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LAH council hears request for tennis court lights at Fremont Hills


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Fremont Hills Country Club asked the Los Altos Hills City Council to allow the club to install lights at five of its 10 tennis courts.

The Los Altos Hills City Council is slated to discuss a proposal calling for tennis court lights at Fremont Hills Country Club.

At a public hearing scheduled 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at town hall, councilmembers will consider the club’s request to install metal halide lights at five of its 10 courts. With the addition of lights, the club could accommodate more tennis players after dark and host United States Tennis Association interclub meets.

When club representatives pitched the idea to the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission at a study session last fall, they met with some resistance. Commissioners raised the prospect of additional light and sound pollution and a potential increase in vehicular traffic around the club.

To legally accommodate the lights, the town must modify its outdoor lighting policy to allow for “high-intensity discharge” lighting and amend its zoning and site development ordinance for Private Recreation Area properties to allow tennis court lights between sunset and 10 p.m.

During a second review of the proposal at a June 24 Planning Commission hearing, the commission voted to recommend that the council approve the installation of lights at Fremont Hills – with several modifications to the conditions of use.

A lighting impact report submitted by the club and previous noise impact studies claim that the project would not significantly impact the surrounding neighbors.

According to the lighting report, the shielded lights meet International Dark Sky Association standards and are located at least 325 feet from the nearest residence. Of the 15 comments that city staff received on the matter prior to the hearing, only two objected to the installation of lights at the club.

One neighbor on La Cresta Drive opposed the lights out of concern that noise from the tennis courts in the evenings would interfere with his 8:30 p.m. bedtime.

More comments, however, echoed the support offered by longtime Los Altos Hills residents and club members Steve and Bev Shepherd.

“Fremont Hills Country Club has always been a good neighbor and a family-focused tennis and swim club,” the couple wrote in an email to town staff. “This seems to fit the same mission of the Town of Los Altos Hills. We believe that enhancing the membership services of this club would provide mutual benefits not only to current members, but to future members of the club, many of whom reside in the community of Los Altos Hills.”

Residents are invited to offer their input at the hearing at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

For more information, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/announce-ments/562-fhcc-public-hearing.

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