Wilton portable lighting regulation to be decided on July 25

The Parks and Recreation Commission’s petition for a zoning regulation amendment to allow temporary, portable lighting made some progress at the Planning and Zoning Commission’s July 11 meeting.

After hearing from Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce and Ridgefield Road resident Wiliaml Patty, the commissioners directed the planning department to prepare a lighting regulation to be voted on at Planning and Zoning’s next meeting. Patty said he supports the town’s plan for portable lighting.

The regulation that would allow youth athletic organizations like the Wilton Lacrosse Association, Wilton Youth Football, and Wilton Youth Field Hockey to obtain a special permit to use the rented portable lights at town- and publicly owned fields within 1,500 feet of Route 7.

Parks and Recreation would be responsible for scheduling field time and access. Pierce said his commission would “try to make it work for everyone,” and has been looking at field inventory to assess the needs of the athletic organizations.

The portable lighting proposal was submitted in response to an unsatisfied demand for athletic field usage within the town — particularly in the fall season, when the sun sets earlier.

Between high school and youth athletic teams, said Pierce, “there’s a lot going on in the fall,” but not enough space.

Pierce said the portable lights would be powered by generators and allow sports organizations to have practice after 5 p.m. on lit fields between October and November. He also said there is no intent of making the lights permanent.

The portable lighting would encompass all Allen’s Meadow fields, all of the stadium area, Gilbert and Bennett and “hopefully over into Schenck’s Island,” as well as Merwin Meadows,” Pierce explained during the Board of Selectmen’s June 6 meeting, and would not exceed 30 feet or be pointed toward anyone’s home.

The Planning and Zoning Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 25, at 7:15 p.m. in town hall annex Room A.