Gatetree gets their way
Original post made
by What the heck, Amador Valley High School,
on Sep 20, 2008
Great job Gatetree curcle neighbors! You successfully nagged your way to force the school district to turn down the speakers in the stadium. You have effectively made the new system totally ineffective. Now instead of using the new system so that spectators can hear, the new system is set at a level so low nobody can hear. Thanks a lot for nothing. Once again, the whining of the minority has prevailed. I say crank the system up. Pleasanton's city ordinance ststes that schools are exempt from noise restrictions during approved school activities, why has the district given in? Its been said before...the school has been there a lot longer than the homes...I know gatetree residents, your response is that the activities have increased over the years and so has the noise. Remember, there's no ordinance. Amador...crank up the volume.
Posted by What the Heck
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59 am
FACTS, Let me clear up a few things about your facts...(I appreciate your willingness to state the facts and want to add)...
#1 The district's "Good Neighbor Policy" has NO specific decibel restrictions written into it. Here is the entire text of the policy:
Pleasanton Unified School District
Good Neighbor Guidelines
District schools are situated within the city of Pleasanton and each share a fence with residents and businesses. It is the intent of the District that staff work to establish a positive relationship with neighbors to the school. While the mission of a school may conflict with that of a home owner or business, we believe that through clear understandings and effective communication, neighbors can learn to appreciate and support each other.
We believe that by following the guidelines below, we will support the development of good neighbor relations.
1. Listen well and take seriously concerns expressed by the neighbors.
2. Since the District is in partnership with the City of Pleasanton regarding facility use, City and District staffs will work together to address concerns expressed by neighbors.
3. Public Information Officer, Myla Grasso, is the direct contact neighbors have to the superintendent's office. She can be reached at 426-4304.
4. Staff will conduct meetings with neighbors to discuss new construction and modernization building and site improvement plans which are likely to impact the neighbors. Possible solutions will always need to be balanced with cost.
5. Staff asks that respect and concern go both ways.
6. Staff, students and their families will respect no trespassing signs, fences and gates which are meant to guide public access from surrounding premises while traveling to and from school.
7. Staff, students, and parents will be encouraged to park in the parking lots provided at each school, leaving streets available for the public.
8. Staff, students, and their families will be encouraged to stay off of adjacent properties and to stay on hardscape surfaces when waiting or passing by a school (please respect the property of residents near schools).
9. Please be aware that comprehensive high schools generally allow on campus student activities between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. When processing outside facility use permits, elements which must be considered include noise level, times of the day, day(s) of the week (avoid Sundays when possible), use of PA system (manage the volume and the appropriateness of the words used), field light use (generally not past 8:30 pm), and parking and traffic considerations Users of our facilities, event sponsors and participants are encouraged to use school parking facilities.
10. Significant activities will be posted on the school's website to give neighbors a heads up of upcoming activities.
11. Staff is asked to put themselves in the neighbors' place. Think of how our activities and plans would affect them.
12. Staff will make sure that athletics and grounds maintenance equipment are in good condition and stored appropriately.
13. All Use of Facilities requests from school sponsored teams, clubs, and organizations will be coordinated and approved through the school administration. All Use of Facility requests by non-school groups (community-based organizations, etc.) will be approved through the school administration before it is forwarded to the District Facilities Department for final approval.
14. Event supervision and security will be provided for each event as determined by the Pleasanton Unified School District Administration.
15. District and school staff will be supportive of neighbors in resolving traffic issues around school sites. However, enforcement of traffic laws is the responsibility of the police department."
AGAIN...no mention of Decibel levels. This policy is avaliable on the district's website at the following link: www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/pub/GoodNeighborPolicy.pdf
#2 The city municipal code states that ALL approved school activities are exempt from nosie restrictions. Here is the code as it appears on the Pleasanton Municipal code 9.04.060 subsection D. "
" D. Special Events. Any community activity, sporting event, or special event occurring at the Alameda County fairgrounds, upon any PUBLIC SCHOOL GROUNDS, or at any city parks or streets is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the event has been approved by the appropriate fair association official, school official or city department or city council." (emphasis added)
You can find a link to that code here: Web Link
#3 In another subsection of the same municipal code it states the following about the RESIDENTIAL noise limit:
"No person shall produce or allow to be produced by any machine, animal, device, or any combination of the same, on public property in any residential area, a noise level in excess of 60 dBA at a distance of 25 feet or more from the noise source or sources, unless otherwise provided in this chapter."
I'm assuming that this is the level at which the Gatetree neighbors want the school to comply. If this is so, it is a ridiculous request, as 60 dBA is the noise level of a normal conversation between 2 people. The dBA level of the crowd alone must exceed 80-90dBA. If the speakers are at 60 ore even 70dBA, nobody will be able to clearly hear the announcing, music...anything.
#4- In one of the posts above, it states that the speakers are pointed directly at the houses on Gatetree Circle...Whoever made that comment has not been to the stadium to see those speakers. The speakers are, in fact, pointed directly down and inward towards the crowd. NO speakers point towards the homes on Gatetree Circle, or the residents on Tiffany Lane. Visitors side speakers (which are now not being used thanks to our friends on GTC) are also pointed down towards the stands. The only speaker not pointed towards the stands is a lone speaker pointed in the direction of the snack bar.
After all of the facts...let get down to it. How many times is the stadium field used for the school year WITH the speakers ON...checking the athletic schedules on the internet should give us the best idea:
4 more home games for the SEASON!!!!
Boys & Girls Soccer:
13 Games (Soccer noise is NOTHING like football season) (Not all on Friday nights)
Boys & Girls Lacrosse:
13 Games (Again Lacrosse noise in NOTHING like football season) (Again not all on Friday nights)
3 Track Meets (Usually all during daylight hours)
1 time per year (really, are you going to complain about graduation?! Heartless if you do)
So, in summary 34 events on just as many days out of 365 in a year Gatetree residents are "putting up" with crowd noise from a stadium that has been there since before their homes were built. Add the Football games that have already happened (2) and a couple of more events...Special Olympics, (again if you complain about that one you are even more heartless) and maybe 2 other events (I'm just guessing beacuse I don't know what other city events may happen there where they get to use the sound system) adds 5 more which makes it 39. This noise is not happening all day long...at the longest (football events) the sound system is used for probably about 6 hours. Remember...these residents bought a house KNOWING that there was a STADIUM there. Really...is this too much to ask? Gatetree residents will say yes, and apparently their opinion will count for a whole lot more than the rest of our community.
I'd like to reiterate that the municipal code does NOT require any restriction on the noise coming from these events. That means that the school is not breaking any code or law. Threats to bring lawyers into the mix are merely threats. If litigation ensued, it would hit an abrupt dead end when they find there is no code restricting the noise! Isn't it about time that Gatetree residents let go of their animosity towards the school and the district, and be good neighbors themselves. You chose to live there. The school is doing what its always done, support students and give them something productive to do. This whole situation is ludacris!
What the Heck!!!!!!