Santa Fe Christian Schools (SFCS) Field Lighting Project

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Date: May 02 , 2023

Project File: MOD 22-001 

APN: 298-112-29

Project Address: 838 Academy Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075      

Plans Dated: 3/17/2022 

Description of Project 

The application Santa Fe Christian Schools (SFCS) has submitted to the City requesting approval of a Modification (MOD) to their Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and a Structure Development Permit (SDP) to allow installation of a total of ten (10) field pole lights for their athletic fields: four (4) field light poles at the softball field and six (6) at the multi-use athletic field ranging in height from 60 to 90 feet.

Please be advised that, due to feedback received by members of our community, we will be extending the SDP timeline to allow additional time for residents to assess potential view impairments and to extend the deadline by which residents may submit a View Assessment application to Friday, June 30, 2023. Staff is also working with SFCS to provide additional information to the public regarding the proposed/requested lighting and, if possible, to more accurately depict the proposed light poles and lighting.

As advised earlier this week, due do the extreme difficulty of constructing story poles of the height required to depict the proposed lighting (a requirement of the SDP process to assess potential view impairment from nearby residences as discussed below), the use of balloons was approved by the City Council as an alternative method to demonstrate the location and height of the proposed field lighting as part of the view assessment process required for this SDP. Again, we are investigating alternative means by which the lighting can be depicted in order for residents to more easily determine what view impairments the lighting might create. 

Structure Development Permit (SDP)/View Assessment Process

The City’s SDP/View Assessment process is intended to encourage project applicants to work with their neighbors to resolve potential view impairments associated with proposed construction in the City. Chapter 17.63 of the Solana Beach Municipal Code (SBMC) requires permit applicants for proposed structures that exceed 16 feet to install story poles to depict their proposed construction and to notify all property owners and occupants within 300 feet of the project site of the SDP application. For this SDP view assessment process, the City Council approved the alternative method to depict the proposed lighting and also expanded the noticing of property owners/residents from within 300 feet to within 1,000 feet of the project site. 

If you are concerned about possible view impairment from your place of residence, you should immediately contact the applicant/SFCS to discuss their proposal. If you are unable to resolve your view impairment concern after discussing it with the applicant, you may wish to consider filing a request for view assessment to the City’s Community Development Department. Once again, the extended deadline to file a View Assessment application for this SDP is 5:00 PM Friday, June 30, 2023. 

If one or more applications for View Assessment are received by the City and the associated view impairment(s) cannot be resolved, a public hearing will be scheduled before the City’s View Assessment Commission (VAC) to assess the view impairment claim(s) and to make a recommendation to the City Council as to the VAC’s findings. Regular VAC meetings are scheduled as needed on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Modification (MOD)

As noted above, SFCS is also requesting a MOD of their CUP which was approved by the City Council (Resolution 2001-077) in 2001 and included a condition prohibiting sports field night lighting. After the View Assessment process is concluded, the requested MOD to the CUP will then be scheduled for a public hearing before the City Council who will determine if the requested MOD can be approved, approved with conditions, or denied. The purpose of a CUP is to provide for the review of certain uses or projects which, because of their unique site or design requirements, operating characteristics, or potential adverse effects, require special consideration to assure compatibility with the surrounding area. The CUP process is also intended to give the public an opportunity to review, evaluate and comment on such uses and for the City Council to consider those comments, the applicant’s request and other pertinent information before rendering a decision on the application.

A separate notice for this public hearing will be mailed to the same property owners and residents within 1,000 feet of the subject site as well as any other interested parties that have contacted the City regarding this proposed application. In making their determination on the CUP MOD, the City Council would be required make certain findings which are contained in SBMC Section 17.68.010.F.

Plans and Project Information 

For more information, please visit SFCS's website: SFCS Field Lighting Webpage

You may also obtain additional information and ask questions of the City’s Staff Planner or contact the SFCS applicant or representative at either of the phone numbers or emails listed below.

Contact Information

Applicant/Property Owner: Santa Fe Christian Schools, (858) 755-8900,

Applicant Representative: Keith Francis, (714) 743-5701,    

Staff Project Planner: Joseph Lim, City of Solana Beach, (858) 720-2434,