Planning Board hearings on Mooney Field and Tennis Court lighting – October 19

by beth on October 13, 2020

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Above: The Planning Board will hold hearings to review Site Plans for lighting athletic fields and tennis courts (images from Google maps)

The long awaited public hearings on lighting for two Recreational facilities will open next week. On Monday October 19, the Planning Board will hold hearings on Major Site Plan Approvals for Mooney Baseball Field at Finn School and Richardson Tennis Courts at Neary School.

The project that has had the most interest (and been most controversial) is Mooney Field. Lighting a baseball field in town has been a desire of Southborough Youth Baseball for at least 10 years.

In 2017, Recreation went before the Zoning Board of Approvals to get variances lighting at the two outdoor facilities. The Mooney project was strongly opposed by residents living across the street from the field, worried about the impact. And an abutter to the Neary-Trottier campus opposed the project as a betrayal of promises made by the Town years before. The variances were approved.

That spring, abutters made their arguments again at Annual Town Meeting. But baseball families showed up in support for the Article, helping to pass it and the Tennis Court lighting project. Voters approved putting $220,700 in CPA funds towards Mooney Field lighting and $153,000 towards lighting the courts.

Now the project needs final approval of site plan details from the Planning Board. In most instances, the board ultimately approves site plans, but there are often agreed to modifications and attached conditions.

Click the following links for related materials: The Planning Board agenda, Mooney Field materials packet, Richardson Courts materials packet.

Updated (10/13/20 10:40 am): I added photos of the fields.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Zaterka October 13, 2020 at 7:12 PM

And not a single field or practice area was designated for girls softball last year-I believe that is a first. Nice lights and fields for the boys-zero for the girls. My daughters now play for Westborough and Shrewsbury-both great programs, and they invest time and money in the girls!

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2 Tim October 14, 2020 at 12:52 PM

Hi Andrew – Woodward/Choate was designated for Northborough/Southborough Girls Softball this fall under the lights, and Trottier field will be renovated by the town to be the home of softball moving forward as well. It was planned to be done this year but COVID pushed everything out of wack. Still an important point to bring up on your end – but we are making strong efforts to get the girls back in town. Thanks for taking the time to comment

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