Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD is closer to providing a more equitable experience for its student athletes.

Last week the Carrollton City Council approved an ordinance to amend the zoning of 24.3 acres at 1600 South Josey Lane to establish a planned development, thus allowing a lighted softball field for R.L. Turner High School.

Loren Shapiro, planning manager for the city of Carrollton, said the current zoning is single-family, which doesn’t allow for lighted fields.

The proposal is to redevelop the southern-most parcel that holds the tennis courts to and construct a lighted softball field.

Councilman Steve Babick said this project will go toward ensuring all of the high schools in the school district have similar facilities.

“This was a CFB bond oriented project,” Babick said, “around equity and making sure all of the schools had the proper facilities. R.L. Turner does not have this facility, so I think this is us doing our part to make sure that the voter-approved bonds can build this softball field.”

Shapiro said several measures will be taken to make sure the newly installed lights won’t become a nuisance. He said larger 3-inch caliper trees will be added to the southern border of the softball field to provide a buffer to the existing neighborhood to the south.

“There is a glare ordinance in place in our zoning ordinance that regulates the lighting glare, namely for residential,” Shapiro said. “But we feel like this would do a better job of improving that as these trees mature.”

Shapiro said the lighting height limit at the softball field would be 70 feet. He said the lighting at the baseball field will remain at 80 feet.

Richard Scoggins with CEI Engineering said the lights used will be LED lights and will be specific to where they shine. He said the lights will also be hooded to keep the light from leaving the field.

Last year CFBISD completed a synthetic turf softball and baseball facility improvements at Creekview and Ranchview high schools. Officials said the synthetic turf reduces the amount of lost practice time due to weather. Turner’s existing baseball field will also be updated with synthetic turf.

Last month the council approved a specific use permit for an updated softball field for Newman Smith High School in the 2000 block of Kelly Blvd.

Scoggins said construction for the Turner field is expected to begin soon so the fields will be ready for the spring season.

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