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    Ballard High School Athletic Field Lighting
    Draft SEPA Checklist

    Attachments for this checklist (including Figures; Appendix A: Noise Memorandum; Appendix B: Light and Glare Report; and Appendix C: Traffic Impact Analysis) can be received by contacting

    The comment period has been extended and is open from October 16 to November 10, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Comments can be emailed to or mailed to Pegi McEvoy, SEPA Responsible Official, Seattle Public Schools, PO Box 34165, MS 22-183, Seattle WA 98124-1165.  

    A public meeting will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 6:00-7:30 pm at Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St., Seattle, WA 98117 to present the project, answer questions, and solicit comments. 

    The comment period has been extended and will now close Friday, November 10, 2017, at 5:00pm.

    Draft Checklist Table of Contents

    Environmental Checklist

    1. Background
    2. Environmental Elements
    1. Earth
    2. Air
    3. Water
    4. Plants
    5. Animals
    6. Energy and Natural Resources
    7. Environmental Health
    8. Land and Shoreline Use
    9. Housing
    10. Aesthetics
    11. Light and Glare
    12. Recreation
    13. Historic and Cultural Preservation
    14. Transportation
    15. Public Services
    16. Utilities



    A.      BACKGROUND

    1. Name of the proposed project, if applicable:
      Ballard High School Athletic Field Lighting

    2. Name of Applicant:
      Seattle Public Schools (SPS)

    3. Address and phone number of applicant and contact person:
      Richard Best
      Seattle Public Schools
      2445 3rd Ave S
      Seattle, WA 98134
      (206) 252-0644

    4. Date checklist prepared:
      September 2017

    5. Agency requesting checklist:
      Seattle Public Schools (SPS)

    6. Proposed timing or schedule (including phasing, if applicable):
      SPS plans to install the field lights in summer 2018. Installation of the lighting will take approximately four weeks.

    7. Do you have any plans for future additions, expansion, or further activity related to or connected with this proposal? If yes, explain.
      SPS currently has no plans for future projects at Ballard High School.

    8. List any environmental information you know about that has been prepared, or will be prepared, directly related to this proposal.

    • Cultural Resources Short Report, ESA, March 2017

    • Geotechnical Engineering Report, Krazan & Associates, Inc., May 24, 2017

    • Noise Technical Memorandum, ESA, August 28, 2017

    Transportation Technical Report, Heffron Transportation, Inc., September 11, 2017

    • Light and Glare Report, Stantec, September 12, 2017

      • Installing lighting at SPS athletic fields was evaluated programmatically in the Building, Technology, and Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Programmatic EIS (SPS, 2016). This SEPA Checklist adds project specific details and analysis.

    9.     Do you know whether applications are pending for governmental approvals of other proposals directly affecting the property covered by your proposal? If yes, explain.
    There are no other applications pending for the subject property.

    10.     List any governmental approvals or permits that will be needed for your proposal, if known:

    Master Use Permit      City of Seattle
    Building Permit          City of Seattle
    Electrical Permit         City of Seattle

    11.     Give brief, complete description of your proposal, including the proposed uses and the size of the project and site. There are several questions later in this checklist that ask you to describe certain aspects of your proposal. You do not need to repeat those answers on this page.

    Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is proposing to install athletic field lighting at multiple school locations, including Ballard High School, in the Seattle School District (District), under the Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Program funding.

    SPS and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) have been working together to develop plans for installing lights at athletic fields around the City. Lighting is being installed as mitigation for the impacts of SPS’s change in school start times. In fall 2016, SPS changed start times so that high school students start at 8:50 a.m. and are dismissed at 3:20 p.m., approximately 1 hour later than the previous schedule. Starting fall 2017, high schools will start at 8:45 or 8:55 and be dismissed at 3:35 or 3:45. The later dismissal time for high schools means that school athletic fields are used for school practice and games later in the day, reducing the time that unlighted fields are available for community use under the Joint Use Agreement with Parks. This was identified as a significant adverse impact in the Change in School Start Times Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPS, 2015).

    Lighting of the Ballard High School athletic field would allow SPS and Parks to schedule events later in the evening than currently possible.  The fields would assist in relieving the demand for all-season, multi-use, lighted fields in the City.

    SPS proposes to light the athletic fields at Ballard High School to allow for both SPS use and community use. Anticipated uses of the fields include:

    Ballard High School football, soccer, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee practice and games (no varsity football games would be held at the school)

    Parks recreational events, including youth and adult soccer, lacrosse, flag football and other events

    The Ballard High School field accommodates football and soccer. A track surrounds the athletic field. Lights would be installed around the perimeter of the athletic field, outside of the track. The lights would be aimed at the athletic field and would not light the track. Four poles would be installed at the athletic field (two on the west side and two on the eastern side). The project includes the installation of electrical conduits around the perimeter of the field to supply electricity to the lights.

    The proposed lighting system at the athletic field will consist of 32 shielded LED floodlights (1,150 watts) on galvanized steel poles surrounding the athletic field. The proposed lights on the west will be installed on poles 70 feet tall and the poles on the eastern side will be 90 feet tall. The height of the poles has been proposed in order to minimize light spillage outside the athletic complex. The lights would comply with the guidelines established by Parks (Parks, 2002). SPS and Parks propose to schedule events at the lighted fields from dusk until 10 p.m. The fields may also be lit in the morning hours of winter to allow high school practice. The lights would be designed to automatically shut off at an established time, typically 15 minutes after the end of scheduled play.

    In setting the cutoff time for lights, SPS considered the following:

    Parks has adopted Policy # 060-P 7.1.1, Use and Scheduling of Outdoor Athletic Facilities, which became effective on July 1, 2002 (Parks, 2002). For lighted fields, Parks’ policy is to schedule play until 10:45 p.m., except on fields where residences adjoin the length of the field on two or more sides (unless arterials, significant topography, and/or other buffers are found between the field and adjacent residences on one or both sides). Fields that meet these criteria are scheduled until 10:00 p.m. Unless security lighting is available, lights at all fields will be turned off 15 minutes after the end of scheduled play to allow players to leave the site safely (Policy # 060-P 7.7.1, Section 4.3.3). Because residences adjoin the Ballard High School field on two sides, events at those fields would be scheduled until 10:00 p.m.

    Figures illustrating the project vicinity and lighting plan are available from SPS on request.

    Location of the proposal. Give sufficient information for a person to understand the precise location of your proposed project, including a street address, if any, and section, township, and range, if known.  If a proposal would occur over a range of area, provide the range or boundaries of the site(s). Provide a legal description, site plan, vicinity map, and topographic map, if reasonably available. While you should submit any plans required by the agency, you are not required to duplicate maps or detailed plans submitted with any permit applications related to this checklist.

    The proposed project is located at 1418 NW 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98117. The project site is bounded by NW 67th St to the north, 12th Ave NW to the east, NW 65th St to the south, and 15th Avenue NW to the west.

    The site is located in the southwest quarter of Section 1, Township 25, Range 3. The site is made up of one parcel (parcel 305070-0050) with the following legal description:



    1. Earth

       A geotechnical investigation was performed at the project site by Krazan & Associates, Inc. (Krazan & Associates, Inc., 2017). The work included a review of existing subsurface information for the property as well as drilling six soil borings on the project site.  Information from this report is summarized in this section and incorporated in this SEPA Checklist as appropriate.

       a.       General description of the site (underline):

       The subject site includes a gently north-facing slope. The athletic field is built on fill; it is higher than the surrounding residences and streets on the east and south side and lower than NW 67th Street on the north side. It is likely that earthwork grading had occurred to level the playing field during the original construction decades ago. Because the project will not include construction of new buildings and will be limited to the installation of light poles for the existing athletic fields, a detailed analysis of the existing slopes around the perimeter of the project is not needed.

       b.       What is the steepest slope on the site (approximate percent slope)?

       The steepest slope is the gentle north-facing slope. The south and east sides of the field are separated from the adjacent street and alley by retaining walls. All construction will occur on the flat athletic field and no slopes will be affected by the project.

       c.       What general types of soils are found on the site (for example clay, sand, gravel, peat, muck)? If you know the classification of agricultural soils, specify them and note any agricultural land of long-term commercial significance and whether the proposal results in removing any of these soils.

       The types of soils encountered during site exploration were generally medium dense weathered soils to very dense sand with some silt and gravel and fill.

       d.       Are there any surface indications or a history of unstable soils in the immediate vicinity? If so, describe.

       There are no indications of unstable soils in the immediate vicinity. Although some of the underlying soil types could present a hazard for erosion, all excavation will occur in the area of the flat athletic field which has previously been excavated and leveled.

       e.       Describe the purpose, type, total area, and approximate quantities of total affected area of any filling or grading proposed. Indicate source of fill.

       No filling or grading is proposed for the project. Excavation would occur to install the electrical conduits and place the poles. The electrical conduits will be installed in a trench that will be routed around the outside of the track. The trench will be 28 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Excavation for pole installation would be approximately 16 feet below the surface for the 90 foot poles and approximately 14 feet below the surface for the 70 foot poles; each at a 30-inch diameter.

       f.        Could erosion occur as a result of clearing, construction, or use? If so, generally describe.

       Construction would occur on the flat athletic field, so the erosion potential is expected to be minimal.

       g.       About what percent of the site will be covered with impervious surfaces after project construction (for example, asphalt or buildings)?

       No buildings would be constructed and no new impervious surfaces would be added to the project site. The light poles would be installed on the artificial surface of the existing athletic field and the trench for the electrical conduit would be installed on the outside edge of the track.

       h.       Proposed measures to reduce or control erosion, or other impacts to the earth, if any:

       No significant erosion is anticipated from installation of the electrical conduits or lighting standards. Standard erosion control measures would be taken to minimize erosion potential. These include implementing the recommendations for fill placement and light pole foundations in the Krazan & Associates, Inc. report.

    2.  Air

      a.       What types of emissions to the air would result from the proposal during construction, operation, and maintenance when the project is completed? If any, generally describe and give approximate quantities if known.

       During lighting installation, there could be a small increase in exhaust emissions from construction vehicles and equipment and a temporary increase in fugitive dust. When the project is complete, the increased vehicular traffic accessing the athletic fields for events could cause a small increase in exhaust emissions.


      b.       Are there any off-site sources of emissions or odor that may affect your proposal? If so, generally describe.

       There are no off-site sources of emissions or odors that would affect the proposed project.


      c.       Proposed measures to reduce or control emissions or other impacts to air, if any.

       Contractors would use best management practices to minimize construction-related emissions. These emissions are expected to be minimal.

       3.       Water

       a.       Surface Water:                     

       1.       Is there any surface water body on or in the immediate vicinity of the site (including year-round and seasonal streams, saltwater, lakes, ponds, wetlands)? If yes, describe type and provide names. If appropriate, state what stream or river it flows into.

       There are no surface water bodies on or in the immediate vicinity of the site.


      2.       Will the project require any work over, in, or adjacent to (within 200 feet) the described waters? If yes, please describe and attach available plans.

       The project would not require any work over, in, or adjacent to any surface water bodies.


      3.       Estimate the amount of fill and dredge material that would be placed in or removed from surface water or wetlands and indicate the area of the site that would be affected. Indicate the source of fill material.

       The proposed project would not require any work in or near surface water, and would not place any amount of fill or dredge material in surface waters or associated wetlands.


      4.       Will the proposal require surface water withdrawals or diversions? Give general description, purpose, and approximate quantities, if known.

       The project would not require surface water withdrawals or diversions.


      5.       Does the proposal lie within a 100-year floodplain?  If so, note location on the site plan.

       According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Flood Insurance Maps, the site is not located within a 100-year floodplain.


      6.       Does the proposal involve any discharges of waste materials to surface waters? If so, describe the type of waste and anticipated volume of discharge.

       The project would not involve the discharge of waste materials to any surface waters.

       b.       Ground Water:

       1.       Will groundwater be withdrawn from a well for drinking water or other purposes? If so, give a general description of the well, proposed uses and approximate quantities withdrawn from the well. Will water be discharged to groundwater? Give general description, purpose, and approximate quantities if known.

       The proposed project would not involve withdrawal of groundwater or discharge of water to ground water. The trench for the electrical conduits would be 28 inches deep. Installation of the poles would go below the surface approximately 14 feet for 70-foot poles and 16 feet for 90-foot poles. Installation of the poles would include a precast concrete foundation that would reach the groundwater table. A tremie concrete placement method would be used to place the pole. No significant dewatering is anticipated.


      2.       Describe waste material that will be discharged into the ground from septic tanks or other sources, if any (for example: Domestic sewage; industrial, containing the
      following chemicals. . . ; agricultural; etc.). Describe the general size of the system, the number of such systems, the number of houses to be served (if applicable), or the number of animals or humans the system(s) are expected to serve.

       No waste material would be discharged into the ground.  The project site would not utilize septic tanks.


      c.       Water Runoff (including stormwater)

       1.       Describe the source of runoff (including storm water) and method of collection and disposal, if any (include quantities, if known). Where will this water flow? Will this water flow into other waters? If so, describe.

       The new lighting poles and associated equipment would not generate runoff. 


      2.       Could waste materials enter ground or surface waters?  If so, generally describe.

       It is unlikely that sediment generated during lighting installation could leave the site. Once the light poles are installed, the surrounding area would be restored.


    3. Does the proposal alter or otherwise affect drainage patterns in the vicinity of the site? If so, describe

                            The proposed project would not alter drainage patterns.

    d.       Proposed measures to reduce or control surface, ground, and runoff water, and drainage pattern impacts, if any:

    No impacts to surface or groundwater are expected, nor is runoff expected to increase. Therefore, no measures are proposed to reduce impacts.

    4.       Plants

    a.       Check the types of vegetation found on the site:

    __x_deciduous tree:  alder, maple, aspen, other

    __x_evergreen tree: fir, cedar, pine, other




    ____crop or grain

    ____ Orchards, vineyards or other permanent crops.

    ____ wet soil plants: cattail, buttercup, bullrush, skunk cabbage, other

    ____water plants: water lily, eelgrass, milfoil, other

    ____other types of vegetation

    Vegetation on the site consists of landscaping. The athletic field has an existing artificial surface.

    b.       What kind and amount of vegetation will be removed or altered?

    No vegetation would be removed or altered during installation of the poles. The athletic fields currently have artificial turf.

    c.       List threatened or endangered species known to be on or near the site.

    No threatened or endangered plant species or critical habitat are known to be on or near the site according to the Washington Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program (WNHP) database (WNHP, 2013).

    d.       Proposed landscaping, use of native plants, or other measures to preserve or enhance vegetation on the site, if any:

    No landscaping is proposed as part of the lighting project. Existing landscaping would not be affected by the project.

    e.       List all noxious weeds and invasive species known to be on or near the site.

    No noxious weeds or invasive species are shown on the King County iMap database (King County, 2017). English ivy is growing along the fence and retaining wall on the east side of the field. The project would not disturb this area.

    5.       Animals

    a.       List any birds and other animals which have been observed on or near the site or are known to be on or near the site. Examples include:

    Animals observed on the site are restricted to typical urban animals and birds.

    Fish: not applicable

    Amphibians: unknown

    Reptiles: unknown

    Birds: species adapted to urban areas such as gulls, American crow, rock pigeon, chickadee, robin, Steller’s jay, northern flicker.

    Mammals: species adapted to urban areas such as Norway rat, raccoon, opossum

    b.       List any threatened or endangered species known to be on near the site.

    According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Priority Habitats and Species program maps, no threatened or endangered species are known to be on or near the site (WDFW, 2017).

    c.       Is the site part of a migration route? If so, explain.

    The Puget Sound area is located within the Pacific Flyway, which is a flight corridor for migrating waterfowl and other avian fauna. The Pacific Flyway extends south from Alaska to Mexico and South America. No portion of the proposed project would interfere with or alter the Pacific Flyway.

    In general, most literature regarding lighting effects on birds is concentrated on migrating birds and collisions with buildings and tall, lighted towers. There is evidence that migrating birds become disoriented by lighted towers and collide with the towers (Manville, 2005; Ogden, 1996).  The literature does not report bird fatalities at lighted towers less than 200 feet tall, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines for siting towers do not address those less than 200 feet tall (USFWS, 2016). The proposed athletic field light towers are less than 100 feet tall.  It is unlikely that the proposed athletic field light towers would present problems for migrating birds, since the average migration elevation is 1,000 to 2,000 feet (Alerstam, 1997). The literature also suggests that typical athletic field lighting is unlikely to negatively affect birds because the lights would be directed downward and the light source would be short wavelength (Gauthreaux and Belser, 2006).

    d.       Proposed measures to preserve or enhance wildlife, if any.

    The proposed project is not expected to result in any impacts to wildlife or wildlife habitat. The athletic field is located in a dense urban neighborhood and the area is not a quality habitat area for wildlife. Wildlife would likely avoid the area during athletic events. Light spill from the athletic fields would be reduced by the taller light poles, and would not shine on trees or shrubby areas at the edge of fields where wildlife might be located.


    e.       List any invasive animal species known to be on or near the site.

    Invasive animal species likely to be in the area include rats and opossums, typical of an urban area.

    6.       Energy and Natural Resources

    a.       What kinds of energy (electric, natural gas, oil, wood stove, solar) will be used to meet the completed project's energy needs? Describe whether it will be used for heating, manufacturing, etc.

    The proposed athletic field lights would be powered by electricity.

    b.       Would your project affect the potential use of solar energy by adjacent properties? If so, generally describe.

    The new lighting poles and associated equipment would not block the use of solar energy by adjacent properties. No other aspect of the project would interfere with solar energy use by others.

    c.       What kinds of energy conservation features are included in the plans of this proposal? List other proposed measures to reduce or control energy impacts, if any:

    To conserve energy, the athletic field lights would use high efficiency LED floodlights. A total of approximately 32 1,150-watt lights would be installed at the athletic field. The LED floodlights would reduce the electrical energy load used for lighting by approximately 33 percent compared to standard lighting. The field would also be lighted to the recommended minimum Class IV lighting level for safe play per the Illuminating Engineering Society Recommended Practice for Athletic Fields RP-6.

    A fully programmable control system with remote operation would be installed to allow the fields to be lighted independently and to automatically turn off after play is completed. This feature would ensure that lights would be on only during the hours that events are scheduled on each field. If necessary, the lights could also be operated manually through separate switches that would be installed.

    7.       Environmental Health

    a.       Are there any environmental health hazards, including exposure to toxic chemicals, risk of fire and explosion, spill, or hazardous waste, that could occur as a result of this proposal? If so, describe.

    Accidental spills of hazardous materials from equipment and vehicles could occur during construction. Installation of the electrical conduits and light poles would require limited excavation and few vehicles, so the potential for spills would be minimal. The contractor would develop a spill prevention and control plan to prevent the accidental release of contaminants into the environment.

    1.       Describe any known or possible contamination at the site from present or past uses.

    According to the Department of Ecology Facility/Site(s) database, the Ballard High School site is not known to be contaminated (Ecology, 2017).

    2.       Describe existing hazardous chemicals/conditions that might affect project development and design. This includes underground hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipelines located within the project area and in the vicinity.

    There are no existing hazardous chemicals or conditions that would affect project development.

    3.       Describe any toxic or hazardous chemicals that might be stored, used, or produced during the project's development or construction, or at any time during the operating life of the project.

    Chemicals stored and used during construction would be limited to gasoline and other petroleum based products required for maintenance and operation of construction equipment and vehicles.

    4.       Describe special emergency services that might be required.

    No special emergency services would be required.  Extending the period of field use would require additional security. SPS would provide all necessary staffing, including security, to Ballard High School as described in the Joint Use Agreement (Parks and the Seattle School District No.1, 2016).

    5.       Proposed measures to reduce or control environmental health hazards, if any:

    Site-specific pollution prevention plans and spill prevention and control plans would be developed to prevent or minimize impacts from hazardous materials.

    b.       Noise

    A Noise Technical Memorandum for the project was developed by ESA (ESA, 2017). Information from the technical report is summarized in this section. The report is available from SPS on request.

    1.       What types of noise exist in the area which may affect your project (for example:  traffic, equipment, operation, other)?

    There are no existing sources of noise in the area that would adversely affect the proposal. Ballard High School is surrounded by single-family residences, playfields and arterial streets which generate background traffic noise.

    Existing noise levels were measured at Ballard High School on January 24, 2017 between 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm, which generally reflected existing evening/early nighttime noise conditions.  Evening/early nighttime noise conditions are typically quiet and influenced by activities from surrounding residential and commercial land uses near the school. The existing evening and early nighttime noise environment at Ballard High School is generally in the range of 43.9 to 50.24 Leq (dBA). More details can be found in the Ballard High School Noise Technical Memorandum (ESA, 2017). 

    There are no sources of noise in the area which would affect the proposed project.

    The City of Seattle Noise Ordinance (SMC Chapter 25.08) regulates noise in the City.  Noise is typically defined as an unwanted sound that can disrupt quality of life (EPA, 2016). Noise is typically measured in units called decibels (dB). For the purposes of environmental analysis noise is commonly quantified as “A weighted” decibels (dBA), which corresponds to the frequencies that are audible to the human ear. Use of the dBA frequency is consistent with SMC 25.08.090. Leq or the “equivalent sound level” is used to describe noise over a specified period of time in terms of a single numerical value. The Leq of a time-varying signal and that of a steady signal are the same if they deliver the same acoustic energy over a given time. The Leq may also be referred to as the average sound level.

    The City sets exterior sound level limits according to the land use of both the property generating the noise (the source) and the property receiving the noise (SMC Chapter 25.08.41). Within a residential district, the maximum allowable noise from one property to another during daytime and evening hours (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) is limited to 55 Leq (dBA).

    The code further regulates noises considered “unreasonable” including "loud and raucous, and frequent repetitive or continuous sounds made by the amplified or unamplified human voice" between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. During these hours, maximum allowable noise from one property to another within residential districts is reduced to 45 Leq (dBA). Ballard High School, including the athletic field, and surrounding residences are all located within residential districts per City of Seattle Zoning.

    For noise sources that are not continuous, higher levels are allowed for short durations. The code specifies that shorter duration noises are subject to the following limits:

    • Up to 5 dBA above the continuous limit for up to 15 minutes per hour

    • Up to 10 dBA above the continuous limit for up to 5 minutes per hour

    • Up to 15 dBA above the continuous limit for up to 1.5 minutes per hour.

    2.       What types and levels of noise would be created by or associated with the project on a short-term or long-term basis (for example: traffic, construction, operation, other)? Indicate what hours noise would come from the site.

    Minor, short-term noise impacts could result from construction vehicles and equipment during daylight hours when lights are installed.

    Long-term noise impacts would result from increased traffic associated with the athletic events at the fields. Increased noise, including cheering, whistles, and voices of the sports participants, would also occur during the extended hours of field use allowed by the lighting. Hours of increased noise would be from dusk to 10:00 p.m. every day to accommodate both SPS and Parks activities.

    Potential noise impacts to residential properties surrounding the Ballard High School athletic field were predicted based on review of existing conditions and anticipated noise from proposed late evening athletic activities. The noise analysis used Jane Addams Middle School to estimate future noise that would occur at Ballard High School with scheduled night time events. Jane Addams Middle School was selected because surrounding land uses and traffic conditions are comparable to the Ballard High School neighborhood. Night-time athletic events at Jane Addams Middle School are similar to those proposed at Ballard High School.

    Comparative noise measurements taken during evening athletic activity at Jane Addams indicate that environmental noise would increase at Ballard High School as a result of the proposed field lighting project. Based on the noise analysis, it is not anticipated that the noise increase would result in an exceedance of the 55 Leq (dBA) limit at adjacent residences. At the nearest residences, setback approximately 60 feet, noise levels during evening athletic activities are anticipated to be at or below the levels recorded during a men’s adult soccer game at the Jane Addams Middle School field, ranging from 50.9 to 52.4 Leq (dBA).

    While the character of environmental noise and specific events (whistles, loud yells) during athletic activities would likely be perceptible at adjacent residential properties, especially those immediately to the east and south of the athletic field, these noises would all be of short duration (generally no more than a few seconds for any given event). Based on measurements at Jane Addams and Ingraham High School athletic fields during soccer games, discrete noise events are not anticipated to exceed approximately 60 (dBA). These levels would be within the limits established by SMC 25.08.41.

    3.       Proposed measures to reduce or control noise impacts, if any:

    SPS and Parks would schedule evening games to end by 10:00 p.m. to minimize noise impacts on the neighborhood. Security lighting would be provided for an additional 15 minutes to allow players to safely leave the field.

    No public address system would be used at the athletic fields. Participants in community events could bring portable speakers. The use of these speakers would be limited by ending events at 10:00 p.m. 

    8.       Land and Shoreline Use

    a.       What is the current use of the site and adjacent properties? Will the proposal affect current land uses on nearby or adjacent properties? If so, describe.

    The site is used as a school and is comprised of three inter-connected buildings, two free-standing buildings, a tennis court, an athletic/track field, and a parking lot.

    The school is located in a predominantly single-family residential neighborhood. Adjacent properties are single family, commercial and multi-family.

    The project would not affect current land uses. The site has been used as a school and would continue to be used as a school.

    b.       Has the project site been used as working farmlands or working forest lands? If so, describe. How much agricultural or forest land of long-term commercial significance will be converted to other uses as a result of the proposal, if any? If resource lands have not been designated, how many acres in farmland or forest land tax status will be converted to nonfarm or nonforest use?

    The site is not currently and has not been previously used for working farmlands or working forest lands. No agricultural or forest land would be converted to other uses. The original Ballard High School building at 1418 NW 65th Street was constructed in 1915, with a 4.96-acre athletic field added in 1921. Historical data does not indicate any residential or farming activities in the project area prior to the construction of the original Ballard High School.

    1)       Will the proposal affect or be affected by surrounding working farm or forest land normal business operations, such as oversize equipment access, the application of pesticides, tilling, and harvesting? If so, how:

    No working farm or forest lands are located near the proposed project, so the project would not affect or be affected by farm or forest land operations.

    c.       Describe any structures on the site.

    The site is used as a school and is comprised of three inter-connected buildings, two free-standing buildings, a tennis court, an athletic/track field, and a parking lot.

    d.       Will any structures be demolished? If so, what?

    No structures will be demolished as a part of the athletic field lighting project.

    e.       What is the current zoning classification of the site?

    The current zoning classification of the school site is lowrise. Areas to the north, south and east are zoned SF 5000 (residential single family 5,000).

    f.        What is the current comprehensive plan designation of the site?

    The City of Seattle comprehensive plan designation of the site as a “Multi Family Residential Area” (City of Seattle, 2015).

    g.       If applicable, what is the current shoreline master program designation of the site?

    The project site is not within the shoreline jurisdiction; therefore, there is no applicable shoreline master plan designation.

    h.       Has any part of the site been classified as a critical area by the city or county? If so, specify.

    Review of the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (DCI) GIS mapping database for environmental critical areas indicated no critical areas at the site.

    i.        Approximately how many people would reside or work in the completed project?

    The project is located on an athletic field where no people reside or work. The project would not change the number of students or staff at Ballard High School.

    j.        Approximately how many people would the completed project displace?

    The completed project would not displace any people.

    k.       Proposed measures to avoid or reduce displacement impacts, if any:

    No displacement would occur; therefore, no mitigation measures are needed.

    l.        Proposed measures to ensure the proposal is compatible with existing and projected land uses and plans, if any:

    The height limit for light poles in residential areas is 30 feet and the proposed poles would be 70 and -90 feet (SMC 23.76). SMC 23.51B.002(D)(6) permits light poles at public school athletic fields to exceed the maximum permitted height up to a maximum of 100 feet if the Director of DCI determines that the additional height is necessary to ensure adequate illumination and that light and glare are minimized to the extent practicable. Section B.11 of this Checklist describes how the taller poles reduce light and glare impacts.

    m.      Proposed measures to ensure the proposal is compatible with nearby agricultural and forest lands of long-term commercial significance, if any:

    The project is not located near any agricultural or forest lands, so no measures to ensure compatibility are required.

    9.       Housing

    a.       Approximately how many units would be provided, if any? Indicate whether high, middle, or low-income housing.

    No housing units would be provided as part of the project.

    b.       Approximately how many units, if any, would be eliminated? Indicate whether high, middle, or low-income housing.

    No housing units would be eliminated.

    c.       Describe proposed measures to reduce or control housing impacts, if any.

    The project would not cause housing impacts; therefore, mitigation measures to control housing impacts would not be required.

    10.      Aesthetics

    a.       What is the tallest height of any of the proposed structure(s), not including antennas; what is the principal exterior building material(s) proposed?

    The tallest proposed structures would be the light poles for the athletic fields. There are four poles proposed for the lighting system. These poles would be 70 feet high on the west side of the field and 90 feet high on the east side of the field. The poles would have one or two horizontal galvanized brackets at the top of each pole and one small bracket mounted at a height of 25 feet above field grade to mount one floodlight.

    b.       What views in the immediate vicinity would be altered or obstructed?

    Views across the athletic fields would be altered by the new light poles.

    c.       Proposed measures to control or reduce aesthetic impacts, if any:

    The steel poles would be designed to minimize size and bulk. The floodlights and brackets would be designed to minimize quantity, size and bulk.

    11.      Light and Glare

    Information in this section is based on the Ballard High School Football Field Lighting Report (Stantec, 2017). The full report is available from SPS on request.

    a.       What type of light or glare will the proposal produce?  What time of day would it mainly occur?

    The proposed lighting for the athletic field would include 32 1,150 watt shielded LED floodlights mounted on four galvanized steel poles surrounding the field. The poles on the west side of the field would be 70 feet tall. The poles on the south side of the field would be located on the corner of the field to minimize impacts to homes located on the east side of the field. To account for the location in the corner of the field, the poles on the south side of the field would be 90 feet tall. The poles would have one or two horizontal brackets at the top of each pole to mount the floodlights and one small bracket at a height of 25 feet above field grade to mount one floodlight.


    The football/soccer field lighting would be designed to a Class IV lighting level, as prescribed by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) standard Recommended Practice for Sports Lighting (RP)-8. The football/soccer field would be lighted to an average maintained lighting level of 29 foot-candles[1] using a 0.95 Light Loss Factor.


    Current City of Seattle guidelines recommend that athletic field spill light not exceed 1.1 foot-candles at residential property lines. To comply with this requirement, an exemption to the height limit is required. This exemption would ensure adequate illumination for safe play and reduce the amount of impacts from light and glare into the neighborhood.


    The lighting systems would operate from dusk to the pre-set curfew time.  The lighting systems would be operated by a fully programmable control system with remote operation. The area lights would be on a separate zone and would remain on for a short time after each event to provide ample light for egress from the site following the completion of scheduled field use each evening.


    The new lighting system would increase the overall light and glare in the area during evening hours. The proposal would produce direct glare, reflected glare, spill light (light trespass) and sky glow. Definitions of the terms used in this section are:


    glare is the sensation produced by luminance within the visual field that is sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eyes are adapted to, causing annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility.


    direct glare describes when an observer can see directly into a luminaire’s light source, where the lamp or the reflector are visible.


    foot candles a measurement of the light intensity, the illuminance being a one-square foot surface from a uniform source of light.


    luminance refers to direct glare and reflected glare.


    reflected glare describes when light reflected from a surface causes disability glare. It is assumed that the surface is not intentionally a light source. Surfaces attributable to reflected glare will have a higher luminance than adjacent or nearby surfaces.


    spill light is light from a source, which does not strike the area intended for illumination. Spill light can be characterized by foot-candles (fc) calculated or measured in a horizontal or vertical plane.


    light trespass is when spill light extends beyond the property line of the owner of a light source, and onto or above another owner’s property.


    sky glow is the haze or glow of light emitted above the lighting installation and reduces the ability to view the darkened night sky. This is a combination of light emitted directly from the light source, light reflected upward from the illuminated surface, and light reflected from airborne particles between the light source and the illuminated surface.


    Depending on the viewpoint location, direct glare (and reflecting glare) would be visible from all directions overlooking the site. Properties to the west are buffered by Ballard High School buildings. The residential properties located on the north, south and east sides of the field are close to the fields with direct exposure to the light poles and floodlight assemblies. The direct glare visible at these residences would primarily be from light bouncing off the internal polished reflecting surface of the floodlights. Residential properties that do not border the site are located farther away from the field and would have minimal to no direct glare and reflected glare impacts.


    The spill light impacts would occur at the back of residential properties along 12th Avenue NW that border the site to the east adjacent to the field/track and at residential properties on the north and south of the field. Spill light for the properties along 12th Avenue NW would be below 0.67 foot-candle maximum at the property line. Spill light for properties to the north of the field would be 0.09 foot-candle maximum at the property line. Spill light for properties to the south of the field would be 0.11 foot-candle maximum at the property line. For comparison, the streetlights on NW 65th Street measures 4.0 foot-candles and the street lights on 12th Avenue NW and NW 67th Street measures 1.8 and 1.7 foot-candles, respectively.


    The athletic field lighting system would generate a minimal amount of “sky glow” at locations in close proximity to the fields. Sky glow would be very minor during heavy low overcast skies and small amounts of sky glow would be evident during conditions of low to heavy fog.


    b.       Could light or glare from the finished project be a safety hazard or interfere with views?

    The athletic field lights would not pose a safety hazard.  The poles would be visible from residences to the north, east and south. However, only four poles are being installed, so they are not expected to interfere with views from off-site locations. The lighted field would alter views from surrounding residences. As described in Section B.11.a, the lights would be designed to minimize light and glare impacts.


    c.       What existing off-site sources of light or glare may affect your proposal?

    No off-site sources of light or glare would affect this proposal.


    d.       Proposed measures to reduce or control light and glare impacts, if any:

    The lighting systems selected for the proposed athletic fields are designed to minimize light and glare impacts. To reduce the amount of glare, spill light and sky glow that is visible off-site the floodlights would need to be mounted higher than the 30 feet permitted by City code (SMC 23.76). The increased mounting height of 70 and 90 feet would reduce the maximum spill light at the residential property lines and meet recommended practice of a maximum of 1.1 foot-candles set by the City of Seattle.

    12.      Recreation

    a.       What designated and informal recreational opportunities are in the immediate vicinity?

    The athletic field at Ballard High School provides recreational activities for school and Parks community activities. Use of the field includes football, soccer, track, lacrosse and similar events.

    City of Seattle Parks in the vicinity of Ballard High School include:

    • Ballard Corners Park, located approximately 1,500 feet to the southwest of the project site at 1702 NW 62nd St., Seattle, WA 98107. Ballard Corners Park is a small neighborhood park featuring a bike rack, walking path, bench, cement couches, a jungle-gym and an interpretive park entryway.

    • Kirke Park, located approximately 2,000 feet northeast of the project site at 7028 9th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117. Kirke Park has historical church ruins incorporated into the gardens and play areas.

    b.       Would the proposed project displace any existing recreational uses? If so, describe.

    The proposed project would not displace any existing recreational uses.

    City of Seattle Parks in the vicinity of the project site would not be impacted by the project.

    c.       Proposed measures to reduce or control impacts on recreation, including recreational opportunities to be provided by the project or applicant, if any:

    The proposed project would improve recreational opportunities by extending the opportunities for use. The proposed lighting project is intended to mitigate for the impacts of reduced Parks use of SPS athletic fields caused by the later start times of high schools (see Section A.11). No additional mitigation measures are required.

    13.      Historic and Cultural Preservation

    • The following is based on the Cultural Resources Short Report prepared by ESA (April 2017). Information from the report is summarized in this section.

    a.       Are there any buildings, structures, or sites, located on or near the site that are over 45 years old listed in or eligible for listing in national, state, or local preservation registers located on or near the site? If so, specifically describe.

    The project location consists of the athletic fields; the study area consists of those parcels bordering the athletic fields and project area. There are 25 unevaluated historic-aged properties in the study area. The historic-aged properties are residences adjacent to the project area that meet the minimum-age threshold for an historic property (being 25 years old) based on the criteria of DCI and SMC 25.05.675H.  None of the properties have been inventoried in the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation’s (DAHP) historic property inventory database. The properties south of the project area are separated from the field by an arterial street with light poles; those on the east side of the project area face away from the proposed project; and those on the north side are separated from the athletic field by a two-lane street with light poles. It is anticipated that there would be no direct or indirect impacts to the 25 historic-aged properties in the study area as no buildings would be demolished or modified by the project.

    b.       Are there any landmarks, features, or other evidence of Indian or historic use or occupation? This may include human burials or old cemeteries. Are there any material evidence, artifacts, or areas of cultural importance on or near the site? Please list any professional studies conducted at the site to identify such resources.

    There are no City of Seattle Landmark properties or evidence of Native American historic use or occupation on the site. No cultural materials or archaeological sites were identified. As a part of the geotechnical investigation, four borings were completed by Krazan & Associates, Inc. with ESA archaeologists on-site monitoring and observing the drill cuttings and recording the material. The sediments demonstrated that surfaces that existed during the pre-contact period had been removed and covered with fill.

    c.       Describe the methods used to assess the potential impacts to cultural and historic resources on or near the project site. Examples include consultation with tribes and the department of archeology and historic preservation, archaeological surveys, historic maps, GIS data, etc.

    ESA conducted a literature review of the project area and study area, and reviewed geotechnical data. Information reviewed included any previous archaeological survey reports, ethnographic studies, historic maps, government landowner records, aerial photographs, regional histories, geological maps, soil surveys, and environmental reports. These records were reviewed in order to determine the presence of any potentially significant cultural resources, including Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs), within the project area. Relevant documents were examined at DAHP, the University of Washington Libraries, online, and within ESA’s research library.

    d.       Proposed measures to avoid, minimize, or compensate for loss, changes to, and disturbance to resources. Please include plans for the above and any permits that may be required.

    The project area has been graded, filled and leveled and the probability of intact cultural resources to be impacted by the proposed project is low. Therefore, there are no recommendations for further cultural resources work within the project area. Additionally, no archaeological monitoring is recommended during project construction. However, in order to comply with RCW 27.44, RCW 27.53, and RCW 68.60, SPS has developed an Inadvertent Discovery Plan (IDP).

    14.      Transportation

    A Transportation Technical Report for the project was developed by Heffron Transportation, Inc. (Heffron, 2017). Information from the technical report is summarized in this section. The full report is available from SPS on request.

    a.       Identify public streets and highways serving the site or affected geographic area and describe proposed access to the existing street system. Show on site plans, if any.

    Ballard High School is on the block bounded on the south by NW 65th Street, on the north by NW 67th Street, on the west by 15th Avenue NW, and on the east by an unimproved alley (which connects between NW 65th and NW 67th Streets). The school building occupies the southwest portion of the site; the main surface parking lot with 123 parking spaces is located on the northwest portion of the site. A school-bus-only entrance to the surface lot is located on 15th Avenue NW. Passenger-vehicle access to the lot occurs from two driveways on NW 67th Street. A paved loading dock/service area is located immediately west of the athletic field with access provided by a third driveway on NW 67th Street opposite 14th Avenue NW. An on-site passenger load/unload loop and a parking lot for staff and visitors (15 spaces) is accessed from two, one-way driveways on NW 65th Street. No changes to site access are proposed with this field lighting project.

    b.       Is the site or affected geographic area currently served by public transit?  If so, generally describe. If not, what is the approximate distance to the nearest transit stop?

    King County Metro Transit provides bus service directly to the Ballard High School site. In the site vicinity, 15th Avenue NW is considered a Principal Transit Street, and NW 65th Street is considered a Major Transit Street. Adjacent stops (one northbound and one southbound) are located on 15th Avenue NW just north of NW 65th Street. These stops are served by Metro’s Route 15 and its RapidRide D-Line service, which are described in more detail below.

    Route 15 provides weekday peak-period, peak-direction service between Downtown Seattle, Ballard, Crown Hill, and Blue Ridge. It operates with nine trips into Downtown Seattle in the morning between about 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.; it operates with nine trips from Downtown Seattle in the afternoon between about 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. During these periods, the headways (time between consecutive buses) are between 10 and 30 minutes.

    RapidRide D-Line operates between the Crown Hill, Ballard, Seattle Center, and Downtown Seattle seven days per week nearly 24-hours per day with headways of 5 to 15 minutes on weekdays.

    c.       How many additional parking spaces would the completed project or non-project proposal have? How many would the project or proposal eliminate?

    The project would not add or eliminate any parking spaces.

    d.       Will the proposal require any new or improvements to existing roads, streets, pedestrian, bicycle or state transportation facilities, not including driveways? If so, generally describe (indicate whether public or private).

    The project would not require any new or improvements to existing roads, streets, pedestrian, bicycle or state transportation facilities.

    e.       Will the project or proposal use (or occur in the immediate vicinity of) water, rail, or air transportation?  If so, generally describe.

    The project would not use (or occur in the immediate vicinity of) water, rail, or air transportation.

    f.        How many vehicular trips per day would be generated by the completed project or proposal? If known, indicate when peak volumes would occur and what percentage of the volume would be trucks (such as commercial and nonpassenger vehicles). What data or transportation models were used to make these estimates?

    The field lighting project is expected to generate about 200 to 250 additional trips per day for part of the year—primarily from about October until early March. Peak volumes (estimated at about 85 trips per hour) associated with the field lights could occur in PM peak hour as a high school athletic practice or game ends (up to 55 outbound trips) and the spectators and participants of a recreational game arrive (estimated at 25 trip in and 5 trips out).

    g.       Will the proposal interfere with, affect or be affected by the movement of agricultural and forest products on roads or streets in the area? If so, generally describe.

    The proposal would not interfere with the movement of agricultural or forest products on streets in the area because no agricultural or working forest lands are located within the vicinity of the project site.

    h.       Proposed measures to reduce or control transportation impacts, if any:

    The proposed project would not result in significant adverse impacts to traffic or parking within the study area. It is recommended that the District and Ballard High School ensure that the off-street parking lots are open and available for users during all times that the field is being used. No other mitigation would be required to accommodate the project.

    15.      Public Services

    a.       Would the project result in an increased need for public services (for example: fire protection, police protection, public transit, health care, schools, other)?  If so, generally describe.

    Scheduling night games could require additional police protection. SPS is responsible for providing all necessary staffing, including supervision and security, for all SPS-owned fields. Only athletic complexes require field attendants. If security staffing is needed above and beyond that normally provided by the owner agency, the user agency is responsible for providing the additional staffing (SPR and Seattle School District No.1, 2016).

    b.       Proposed measures to reduce or control direct impacts on public services, if any.

    The Seattle Police Department would continue to be informed of all game dates and times.

    16.      Utilities

    a.       Underline utilities currently available at the site:

    Electricity, natural gas, water, refuse service, telephone, sanitary sewer, septic systems, other

    b.       Describe the utilities that are proposed for the project, the utility providing the service, and the general construction activities on the site or in the immediate vicinity which might be needed.

    Electrical conduit and wiring would be extended to the new light poles. The contractor would coordinate with utility purveyors to locate all existing utilities prior to proceeding with construction activity. Any active underground pipes encountered would be protected. Should undocumented piping or other utilities be encountered, the utility purveyor would be immediately contacted prior to resuming construction activity near the utility. 


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    [1] A foot-candle is a standard unit of measurement for lighting levels and is equivalent to the illumination produced by one candle at a distance of one foot.