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New Mesa Verde Sports Complex In Citrus Heights Raises Concerns Over Light, Sound For Nearby Residents

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — Homeowners in Citrus Heights are sounding the alarm over a new Mesa Verde High School sports complex that is slated to border their properties.

The school district held a meeting about the project earlier this month, but many in the community said they were only given a few days' notice, and even then, it was a done deal.

Plans call for the new stadium to be built on the site of the school's existing football field, just feet away from a row of homes along Lost Creek Court and Cessna Drive.

Looking at next year's varsity football team schedule, Mesa Verde High School is scheduled to have six home games. They currently play home games at San Juan High School's stadium as they do not have a stadium at their site.

A nighttime nuisance may soon be disrupting the bedtime routine at April Garringer's house.

"It's going to make it rough when they have those night games here," she said.

Garringer said she and many other homeowners didn't get much of a heads up.

"We got something in the mail a couple days before the town hall at the high school that was basically just saying it's going to be done and it's starting in spring of this year, so there was no notice," she said.

"It's stupid. It's going to lower our property values, that's for sure," homeowner Theopolis Austin said.

Austin's property butts up to the stadium site. He, too, is concerned about noise, parking and an uptick in crime. He says the message the school district is sending is clear: the public's voice doesn't matter.

"Now, we got to sit right behind here at the 50-yard line," Austin said. "Lights and everything. But now they want to talk to us after the fact? That's corruption."

District officials said community input was gathered in 2014. The project was later presented at an April 7 meeting where they answered questions. In a statement, they said:

"The new stadium will feature the latest lighting technology to minimize glare, and we are also looking into sound decibel levels from speakers, as well as ways to discourage traffic along the residential streets behind the school."

Back at Garringer's house, the hope now is that even more mitigation efforts will take shape.

"If there was a way to create a noise barrier and do something to help the neighbors out, that would be excellent," Garringer said.

She and other neighbors said moving is not out of the question.

The district says it's committed to working with families in the neighborhood and following up on their concerns.

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