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updated: 10/26/2011 5:40 PM

Glen Ellyn lights opponents want referendum question

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  • Opponents of a plan to install lights at Memorial Field, across from Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, have filed petitions that call for a villagewide referendum on the issue.

      Opponents of a plan to install lights at Memorial Field, across from Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, have filed petitions that call for a villagewide referendum on the issue.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Opponents of a plan to install lights at Memorial Field in Glen Ellyn have filed petitions calling for a villagewide, nonbinding referendum question that would ask voters to weigh in on the issue.

Members of Our Field, Our Town submitted a total of 742 signatures to the village clerk's office Wednesday -- 120 more than the minimum number to get the question on the ballot, per state election rules.

The signatures will now be sent to the DuPage Election Commission to be processed. The referendum is set to be included on March 20 primary ballots.

Organizers came within two days of a deadline to submit the petitions, since they are required to file within 90 days of obtaining the first signature.

Adrianne Gregory, a member of Our Field, Our Town, said she and others started collecting signatures in late July, going door to door, standing in parking lots outside downtown stores, and connecting with supporters via a website and 600-person email list.

The referendum push came after Glenbard High School District 87 officials submitted variance requests to the village that include installation of two 60-foot and four 70-foot-tall light towers.

School district administrators have said adding the lights would increase use of the field for extracurricular activities at Glenbard West High School. But some residents have argued the lights would alter the character of their neighborhood and create safety problems.

"(The referendum) is really just to let the people voice their opinion," Gregory said.

The village's plan commission has held six meetings to consider the requested zoning changes, during which Glenbard officials and residents from Our Field, Our Town have argued for and against the lights. Public comment on the proposal is expected to continue at a meeting Thursday night.

After plan commission members debate and vote on the proposal, the village board will make the final decision.

Opponents of the lights plan have asked board members to delay a decision until the referendum vote is taken.

Should the village board make a decision before Dec. 20, members of Our Field, Our Town could ask the county to remove the question from the ballot, Gregory said. After that point, ballots will be printed.

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