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Published February 22, 2017
Noise now permitted at Lafayette swimming pool
Lafayette's Sun Valley Swimming Pool Staff photo

The Lafayette Planning Commission settled the Sun Valley Swimming Pool Association neighborhood dispute that has dragged on for nearly three years, but even that decision required two separate votes of a split commission to finalize.
Residents who live near the swim facility complained to the city about the increase in pool membership, parking problems and issues with lighting and amplified music, all of which the swim club and
the city investigated. After numerous hearings and continuances, the commissioners voted 4 to 3 Feb. 6 to allow the swim club to conduct four special events with amplified music each year, a compromise between the pool's request for five and the neighbors' demand for only two. The final vote itself was a compromise among the commissioners, who first voted 4 to 3 against the club's conducting five special events with amplified music.
"Our job is to deal with change, and it's never easy," Commissioner Will Lovitt said. "The impact of this on the neighbors is important. There should be no more than two events with music, at moderate levels." His associate, Peter Gutzwiller, noted that neighbors who move next to a swimming pool know what they are getting into up front. "Music is important at the special events," added commissioner Steven Bliss. Commissioners Lovitt, Tom Chastain and Jeanne Ateljevich voted against.
Association Board President T.J. Grossi said that he was fine with the planning commission decision. "We gave up some music and a few events, but we're OK with the compromise," he said.
Judith Wolff, one of the neighbors, praised the work of the commission and especially that of project planner Adam Foster. "While I suspect that everyone - pool and neighbors - was probably a bit disappointed with the decision, that's often a sign that the best decision has been made for all concerned," she said. "I think I speak for all of my neighbors when I say that we hope to move on from here, now that the issues have been resolved."
Foster said that the planning commission last voted 4 to 3 on Jan. 4, 2016. That decision approved a hillside development permit for a lot in the Lucas Ranch Estates subdivision.

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