I would like to thank the Landmark for continuing to cover the local issues that are important to many Brookfield-Riverside residents and doing it in a fair way. I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Brookfield village trustees for working hard over the last two years to work out a compromise with the Riverside-Brookfield District 208 Board of Education over the district’s desire to build a parking lot near Hollywood School.
Many people in Hollywood area fought the development of the land near the elementary school and were happy to see the Brookfield Village Board of Trustees vote in favor of not granting the variances that would have allowed construction of any parking lot on the site two years ago.
Unfortunately, District 208 did not accept this vote and continued to press the issue in the court system. That this was particularly upsetting to myself as a Hollywood resident who helped to fund with my taxes both sides of an unnecessary lawsuit for a parking lot designed more for special events that do not involve RBHS high school students.
Over the last year it was the Brookfield Village Trustees, however, who continued to make the case that the variances were not warranted while many of us who live on the four or five blocks near the high school grew tired of the issue.
In the end the Brookfield village trustees offered a compromise, on a smaller 53-space lot, which District 208 finally accepted at the end of 2016. Given the fact that the town of Brookfield already closed off part of Rockefeller Street and allows Riverside Brookfield High School to use it as a parking lot, I believe District 208 should be very happy with this result.
But there is more. While the paper had reported that, in part, the Hollywood neighborhood will be buffered from the parking lot by a setback and the tennis courts, I would like to reinforce the issue that a tennis court with lights will not serve this purpose.
I ask that every effort be made to ensure that the new courts — like the ones they replace — have no lights to allow night time play. Lights are expensive to install and power on an ongoing basis, they are not required for high school matches and they are inappropriate to tennis courts in a residential area. And we know from what we have seen at the Riverside-Brookfield High School football stadium that the lights are likely to be left on through the night.