Zoning commissioners unanimously approve temporary lighting

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a plan to allow temporary generator-powered lights at some of the town’s sports fields during its July 25 meeting.

The 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.

The new regulation allows 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.

During the commission’s July 11 meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce explained that there’s a lot of sports activity in the fall and between high school and youth athletic teams, there’s not enough space.

Pierce said the 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 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.