Civics: soccer verbot en on a soccer field

Emily Hamer:

Last spring, the city’s zoning department issued Edgewood notices of two ordinance violations for hosting games, including a girl’s soccer game. The notices came after zoning administrator Matt Tucker said the school’s master plan prohibits the school from hosting competitions on the field.

Elliott said the school has been continually holding football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and other competitions on the field since 1927. But during Thursday’s five-hour board meeting, which drew some 170 people, neighbors complained that the number of games played on the field has increased tenfold since the field was upgraded in 2015.

The games have also drawn increased scrutiny after the school in 2017 proposed further upgrades to the facility — including increased seating, lights, a sound system and permanent bathrooms — that would have allowed the school’s varsity football team to play there.

Residents of the surrounding Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood organized against the changes, arguing they would create traffic, noise and environmental problems. School officials subsequently scaled back plans and haven’t made any further improvements.

Thursday’s decision hinged on wording in the school’s 2014 master plan that describes the intended use of the field as being for athletic practices and gym classes — without mentioning competitions.

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