The following is from Wednesday's City Council meeting in Aliso Viejo.
Park lighting, bathrooms at issue
Aliso Viejo residents voiced concern about the proposed lighting and restroom facilities at Foxborough Park adjacent to Aliso Niguel High School.
The request asks for eight light poles, which are about 60 to 70 feet above grade, to be installed. The restroom would be a prefabricated building that would replace existing portable toilets.
Ralph Roche, a resident, insisted that traffic and accidents would increase. He said homeless who gather at the nearby Walmart might go to the park for the restrooms.
Councilman William Phillips later called the outcry about the restrooms an overreaction.
"I don't think that will be as big an issue as everyone is making out," he said.
Islands Homeowners Assn. Board President Mike Conley pointed out that aesthetically it could hurt the property value of the homes to have lights at potentially the same level as homes.
He also noted that parking has been difficult during sporting events at the park, and the community has had to hire a towing company to enforce parking.
"I would really encourage the council to vote no on this," he said.
American Youth Soccer Organization 889 Regional Commissioner Darryl Ross spoke about the positive ramifications of the installations, which would allow more night practices and games and would make the park more valuable to the community.
Mayor Carmen Cave proposed that the questions posed during the meeting be considered and the item be discussed further at the next City Council meeting.
The city and the Aliso Viejo Community Assn., which owns the park, have a memorandum of understanding stipulating that the city reserve funds for the park's lighting improvements, which are estimated at $421,684.
Youth sports teams recognized
The Niguel Aliso National Junior Basketball (NJB) Division 2 Lakers team was recognized by Cave at the meeting for its recent championship win.
Coach Bob Kerner mentioned that the team originally had a hard time but turned it around, winning each game in the playoffs.
"Guys, it was the greatest athletic experience I've ever had in my life, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you for it," Kerner said at the podium.
The team includes Connor Siesel, Aiden Wallace, Dominic Sadeghi, Ryan Diluchio, Michal Kerner, Preston Robinson, Josh Ellis, Mitchell Zone and Justin Evans.
The Aliso Viejo Little League District 55 team was also recognized for its recent tournament win in Newport Beach. The 10- and 11-year-olds competed against Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Rancho Niguel. They ultimately took the title with a win against Laguna Niguel.
The team was led by coaches Mike Sigler, Kirby Helmkamp and Scott Poirot. The players include Conner Kokx, Carter Matthys, Ryan Poirot, Jake Briones, Brett Helmkamp, Christopher Aubort, Ryan Diluchio, Chris Pimentel, Luke Sigler, Tyler Jones, Mitchell Zone and Josh Beever.
Walk to School Day declared
The city proclaimed Oct. 5 International Walk to School Day.
Mission Hospital spokeswoman Carla DiCandia said that research has shown that students perform better academically when they walk to school, getting exercise before they start their day. She also mentioned positive feedback from school officials in the city.