Q: Where do things stand right now?
A: Edgewood High School (EHS) unexpectedly reversed course shortly before the City Plan Commission meeting on January 14, requesting the hearing be deferred until further notice. They claimed that they did not require a Master Plan amendment to install lights or amplified sound, merely a permit for lights. The City has not issued that permit, and advised EHS that installation of lights does in fact require an amendment to the Master Plan. Meanwhile, EHS started hosting games for various sports on the field on March 26, which are ongoing.
Q: What about the talks that are going on right now between Edgewood and the neighborhood?
A: No New Stadium (NNS) has some serious concerns about the lack of transparency and the constraints imposed on so-called “Collaborative Work Group” that is meeting currently. Before this group met, the DMNA president asked that Edgewood show good faith by granting four requests:
that, while discussions were ongoing, Edgewood hold off on erecting 80’ light poles for playing games at night;
that the neighborhood have a voice in choosing the facilitator;
that Edgewood’s established Neighborhood Liaison Committee (along with some additional members from DMNA) be the mechanism for these talks; and
that the district alder be included.
Edgewood declined to honor these requests.
Q. Isn’t Edgewood High School breaking the law by playing games now?
A: Yes. They received a notice of violation from the City on April 1st. Yet they continue to host games on the field, and have posted a game schedule for the current 2019 season that shows 42 games involving Edgewood teams. The schedule does not list games for other organizations and schools outside of EHS, which are also using the field.
Q: What consequences might they face?
A: EHS received a detailed letter on March 21 from the City Attorney’s office explaining that if they want to play games on the field or put up lights, they must go back to the Plan Commission. By continuing to play games without either seeking an amendment or appealing to the Zoning Board of Appeals, EHS has placed itself on a collision course with the City of Madison, which could lead to court action and possible fines.
Q: What is the Alder’s position?
A: Tag Evers, the new District 13 Alder, has consistently opposed a stadium at the Monroe Street location.
Q: How are the games currently affecting neighbors?
A: NNS sound measurements show soccer, lacrosse and other events — including a non-EHS weekend-long tournament — are already at or above the City’s 65 decibel limit, even with as few as 50 fans. Larger crowds have measured sustained noise levels over 70 decibels, with peaks well over 80 inside houses. This severely impacts neighbors in the front line of houses. As the City requested, we have been diligent about reporting competitive events, which violate the Master Plan.
Q: What’s next?
A: Rather than using the City’s established legal process to gain approval, EHS seems to be pursuing an incremental administrative strategy to circumvent the public input process.
Q: What can I do?
A: NNS appreciates your continued attention and support. Here are actions you can take to oppose the stadium now.
Join the NNS listserv for updates, and donate to NNS. We have retained an attorney and need contributions to our legal fund. Keep up to date on DMNA reports and attend the DMNA Council meetings, on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:45 at Wingra School library.
When field noise is loud, call (608) 266-4275 and select 6 to register a formal noise complaint with the police on this non-emergency number.
When Edgewood High School hosts games, email firstname.lastname@example.org during games to notify the City of Madison Zoning that EHS is in violation. This will trigger enforcement of the zoning regulations by the City in the form of citations and potentially, fines.