SEATTLE-- A three-year effort to install large lights above Bishop Blanchet High School's athletic fields has taken another turn, after a federal court ruling paved the way for plans to be refiled with the City of Seattle.
The school began a legal battle with the City of Seattle and a group of residents called Concerned Blanchet Neighbors last September.
Bishop Blanchet first filed plans with the city in 2013, which were approved. The school pointed to two public schools that followed a similar permitting procedure, and had lights allowed as well. Twenty-one conditions were stipulated in the approved permit.
Concerned Blanchet Neighbors appealed, citing traffic, light glare and noise concerns. Seattle's Hearing Examiner reversed the city's earlier decision, preventing the school from installing the lights.
In his June 20th ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly wrote the city's position lacks merit , adding it treated Bishop Blanchet on less than equal terms . It instructed all sides to work on a settlement.
The decision did pave the way for Bishop Blanchet to file new plans with the city two weeks ago to place the controversial lights on the Green Lake neighborhood field.
We have a great field, said Bishop Blanchet President Antonio DeSapio, But we are unable to utilize it as much as we can.
The federal judge stood with us on our request to be treated on equal terms, he continued.
However, the battle may not be over. City officials said while talks with the city are underway, an appeal is possible.
Concerned Blanchet Neighbors called the ruling in error , and hinted at an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.