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Council rejects soccer scoreboard
by Rachel Kellogg
May 14, 2014 10:27 AM | 1177 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Soccer teams and fans who use the field at Bridgeway Christian Academy on Kimball Bridge Road in Alpharetta won’t be getting the scoreboard the school’s athletic director requested.

At Monday’s city council meeting, council members unanimously voted down an application from the school to change a zoning condition from 2000 to place a sign on its soccer field.

The field backs up to Webb Bridge and is situated next to a private home.

The homeowner of 25 years, Robert Wilbur, was present at the meeting to object to the placement of the sign, saying it will have a negative affect on his property and its value.

Wilbur, who was present during the approval of the soccer field 14 years ago, said the school has done a poor job over the years of keeping up with the conditions originally laid out for them.

An evergreen tree hedge is supposed to separate Wilbur’s property from the field, but he said trees have died and have not been replaced.

“If [another evergreen] dies, I’ll have LEDs in my living room,” he said of the proposed scoreboard.

Wilbur said the view from his front porch is already tainted by structures from the soccer field and said home value appraisers have asked him, “What is that?” referring to them.

The school’s athletic director, Doug Cohen, said he wanted to erect the scoreboard because, “As we look to grow our school, we need to enhance our facility and this is one way to do it.”

The field is also used, through a contract with the city, by the recreation and parks department’s Ambush soccer league.

When asked why the scoreboard couldn’t be located in the opposite corner of the field — farthest away from Wilbur’s home — Cohen said spectators wouldn’t be able to see it. But council members weren’t convinced that the scoreboard was necessary.

Councilman D.C. Aiken said Wilbur has lived on his property since the soccer field was built and was compliant with the field, as long as the conditions were met.

“Nothing’s changed, other than Bridgeway’s soccer program,” Aiken said. “That is not enough for me to overturn or give a variance for a scoreboard when it butts up to a neighbor who allowed it in the first place.”

Aiken said he was disappointed in the school for trying to change the conditions and said he wouldn’t support the scoreboard even if it was placed in a different corner of the field.

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