VP for Facilities: New tennis courts’ light poles won’t pollute night sky

Quinnipiac hopes to be ‘a little more transparent’ over construction projects

Chatwan Mongkol, News Editor

Quinnipiac University will go before the Hamden Zoning Board of Appeals and Zoning and Planning Commission in coming days for the tennis courts relocation’s approval. Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi went over the plan with The Chronicle.

Filardi said one of the main purposes of the 10-year master facilities plan is to keep students on campus as the university has been hearing concerns from the locals regarding non-residential students. The tennis courts relocation is a part of that plan.

Quinnipiac University seeks approval to install eight 50-foot light poles in the area where the zoning regulation permits a maximum height of 35 feet. (Chatwan Mongkol)

“We’re trying to make it clear to everyone in the town that we hear the concern about kids living off campus and we’re not just forcing them to live on campus, but we’re trying to provide a better experience for them to live on campus,” Filardi said. “So, we do need a little help in adding some of these facilities.”

A part of the plan that Hamden and North Haven residents were against was the plan to install eight new 50-foot light poles at the new tennis courts — the area where the zoning regulation only permits a maximum height of 35 feet. Over two dozen people signed a petition against it.

Filardi explained that in order to keep the light on the courts and not shine off the sky, the poles have to be 50 feet high. He assured that there will be no pollution to the night sky.

“It’s best to make sure that tennis courts are less intrusive to the surrounding area and to surrounding neighbors,” Filardi said.

One of the biggest concerns from residents was about the environment and wildlife in the area. Filardi said the university has assessed that there will be no environmental impact from the light installations.

“The fixtures are all night sky certified,” Filardi said. “They’re all sustainable. They don’t cause any ill effects to wildlife or neighbors, all the light will shine on our property.”

As local residents have been opposing most of Quinnipiac’s construction projects in the past, Filardi said the university is trying to be “a little more transparent” when it comes to its expansion. He said Quinnipiac is ready to meet residents to address concerns and questions from the neighbors.

A virtual public hearing for the variance to install new light poles is scheduled for July 15. A public hearing for a permit to relocate the tennis courts to North Lot will be held on July 27.

“We’re very hopeful that it will be approved,” Filardi said. “If not, then we’ll have to figure out what our next steps are.”