Siena seeks variance

Residents are still skeptical of the project despite measures the college incorporated into the plans based on previous meetings with planners and area residents.

"All of the talk was about the reduction of glare and not the elimination of glare," said Spring Street resident, Sharon Alley.

Prior to last Tuesday's meeting, Alley cast 20 helium balloons into the air fastened to 90-feet of fishing line to show the potential impact of the proposed 90-foot towers.

"It's tall and goes over the tree-line. Even if you have 10 games a year (under lights) we still have to look up at those frankenpines. It ruins our horizon," said Alley.

Alley, backed by several residents, asked why the college considered doing away with night games and foregoing the lights. Residents have also accused the college of poor relations with its neighbors and contend that the new athletic field will bring more noise; something the college hasn't dealt well with when it comes to complaints from neighbors.

Siena has proposed a public address system that will be heard at a level of 34 decibels " 40 decibels less than town's noise ordinance " 150 feet from the source speakers. The noise ordinance prohibits sound measured 20 feet from the property line above 75 decibels"the equivalent of loud singing from three feet away " between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Siena is seeking to replace its current field with a proposed 350 by 260 foot synthetic playing field. The men's and women's lacrosse and soccer teams and women's field hockey will play on the new field.

The plan calls for the 90-foot poles with 21 low spill-off fixtures per pole. A new public address system and press box with bleacher seating for 1,000 is also part of the proposal.

College administrators have described the new field as a necessity to the campus, and to keep the college competitive.

After meeting with residents in the initial planning of the field's designs, college officials agreed to close the field to the student body by 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends. The field will be used for intramural sporting events, but the lights and sound system will not be turned on for those events, according to college officials.

The college has yet to send an application to the ZBA seeking a variance for the 90-foot poles.""

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