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Updated study on planned Corona del Mar sports field goes to public for another look

A study on a planned new sports field at Corona del Mar High School is available for further public comment after the Newport-Mesa Unified School District's environmental consultant made clarifications and additions following community input on the initial version.

The study is meant to evaluate the project's potential environmental effects and related mitigation measures.

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"It will look at what the worst-case scenario is — as in, what would cause the most traffic, noise and such — and how to do something to minimize it," said Tim Marsh, the district's administrative director of facilities and support services.

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The study is available for review on the district website. Questions and comments can be sent through May 23 to facilities analyst Ara Zareczny at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, 2985 Bear St., Building A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, or by email, with the name of the project in the heading, to feedback@nmusd.us.

The study will be used to help write a draft environmental impact report, which will address questions and concerns raised in community comments, according to district spokeswoman Annette Franco. The EIR is required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The estimated $11 million sports field proposal includes a new lighted synthetic-turf field, a track, public address system, restrooms, concessions, press box, ticketing booth and bleachers with room for 1,000 spectators.

Practices and games for football, lacrosse, soccer and track and field are expected to be held there, along with graduations and other events for the high school and the adjoining Corona del Mar Middle School.

The high school's current field is used for soccer, lacrosse and junior varsity football games, Marsh said. Varsity football games are played at Newport Harbor High School's Davidson Field, Estancia High School's Jim Scott Stadium and Orange Coast College's LeBard Stadium.

The updated study includes a list of specific locations where noise will be measured, a map of where light readings will take place and factors to be examined in a traffic analysis.

The study was previously opened for public review and comment in February. Fifty-seven residents and agencies responded. Many believed the study was not specific enough, Marsh said.

Many expressed concern that the lighting and the noise from the PA system and spectators would disturb neighbors and that the new facility would add traffic to already jammed roads.

Others said the field could negatively affect neighborhood property values.

Because Environmental Quality Act studies look at physical and environmental impacts, this study will not include property values.

Once all comments about the recirculated study are received, district staff and environmental consultant PlaceWorks will spend weeks reviewing the input.

A draft EIR is expected to be released for public review by the end of 2016 or early 2017, Franco said.

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Twitter: @AlexandraChan10

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