Quinnipiac rescinds plan to relocate tennis courts, for now

Chatwan Mongkol, Digital News Editor

Quinnipiac University has withdrawn applications with Hamden to relocate tennis courts to the North Lot and install light poles in the newly cleared area.

The rescission occurred after the university faced opposition from local residents due to environmental concerns and received a tremendous support from its own people.

“The request for the tennis courts was withdrawn,” said Erik Johnson, acting Hamden town planner. “I expect that QU will (resubmit) the request at some time in the near future.”

Quinnipiac University plans to relocate its tennis courts to east side of North Lot. (Chatwan Mongkol)

Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan did not provide details on why the university withdrew the applications or if there will be an adjustment to the existing plan. 

“The university is continuing to work with the town on the plans for the tennis courts and plans to resubmit them this spring,” Morgan said.

As construction of the new health and wellness center is underway, Quinnipiac announced last year it planned to relocate the existing tennis courts to the North Lot. The project drew criticism from students as it would potentially take away 145 parking spots when parking has been a major problem facing the Quinnipiac community.

Included in the relocation proposal was a plan to install eight new 50-foot light poles, where the zoning regulation permits a maximum height of 35 feet. It sparked an outcry among Hamden and North Haven residents in the form of petitions demanding the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to reject the plan, citing environmental concerns.

“The area is residential and across from Sleeping Giant State park,” Nancy Navarretta, a Hamden resident, wrote last summer. “Please preserve the quality of life in the surrounding area and do not approve this request.”

Quinnipiac told The Chronicle that all new light poles would be night sky certified, assuring it would pose no pollution to the surrounding community. In an attempt to get the applications passed, the university also asked for support in the form of letters to the ZBA from top administrators, faculty members, staff, student leaders, tennis players, alumni and parents.

Tennis players are currently utilizing courts at North Haven High School’s sports complex until the relocation is complete.

The new health and wellness center is scheduled to open in the fall 2022 semester.