SOUTHLAKE -- Carroll officials hope to score approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission tonight to put lights on the baseball and softball fields at Carroll Senior High School.Parents and student athletes want the area near the high school to be rezoned so games can be played on the lighted campus at night. But residents in the Stone Lake and Park Place neighborhoods have cried foul, contending stadium lights would infringe on their quality of life and decrease their property value.The Planning and Zoning Commission will take up the issue at 6:30 at Town Hall, 1400 Main St. If approved, the proposal moves to the City Council Jan. 15 for a vote. In December, Carroll trustees voted unanimously to install lights at the school.Currently, softball games are played on lighted fields at Bob Jones Park and baseball games are played at Carroll Senior High School at 4 p.m."We want our kids to play at an appropriate venue at an appropriate time," said Jamie Wimberly, the mother of a daughter who plays softball and a son who plays baseball.Neighbors near the school say Carroll ISD has promised for years that no lights would be erected at the stadium. Some homeowners say they asked the district about the lights before they bought their homes.Brigham McCown, who lives near the school, said he and his neighbors are angry over the impact the lights will have on their homes and the broken promises made by the school board."This is not an appropriate location to have a stadium in close proximity to a neighborhood," McCown said. "There has been 20 years of promises not to put lights on those fields."Wimberly's daughter, Alexa started playing recreational softball on the fields at Bob Jones Park when she was 5 years old. Now a junior in high school, the varsity games are played on that same field with no locker rooms and inadequate seating and dugouts. The outfield isn't regulation size and the backstop is too far from home plate."It definitely changes the way the game is played," Wimberly said.Her son Grant, a freshman, will try out for the baseball team this spring. Without lights, the games start at 4 p.m., meaning players and coaches miss class on game days."Freshman year is hard enough with block scheduling," Wimberly said. "I'm most concerned about missing classes."Umpires have also expressed concern about getting to games by 4 p.m.The estimated cost of the lights is $331,000 and would be funded by the 2006 bond package.Residents in Stone Lakes and Park Place fought back an attempt to install lights in 2004 when Carroll needed lights to rent the field to a Texas Collegiate Baseball team that would have been called the Southlake Lone Stars. Commissioners denied that request.
Audio: Carroll official addresses Planning and Zoning on lights in April 2010