Residents Voice Complaints

September 28, 2017

With construction of a new sports complex for Williamsville East High School, in Buffalo, N.Y., finished, some residents are complaining about the effects that the facility's construction and operation have on their homes and way of life.

According to The Buffalo News, the construction of the new sportsplex, which features bleachers, a concession stand, field lights, 260,000 square feet of artificial turf fields, restrooms, and tennis courts, affected residents' quality of life. The construction process violated noise ordinances by beginning early in the morning, and resulted in dirt covering residents' homes.

"Dump trucks, backhoes and machinery slamming dirt to the ground from dawn to dinner six days a week doesn't make for many entertaining opportunities," Daphne Finnegan, a resident whose home on Britannia Drive is near the athletic fields, said.

Finnegan said she and her husband will spend $170 on carpet shampooing, $400 to clean their awning, and $650 on duct cleaning, in addition to $3,000 that they already spent on a privacy fence.

"There's all kinds of expenses that are invisible to other people who don't live here," she said.

Catherine LaBerta, another resident who lives near the fields, said they continue to impact her even now that the construction is complete. She said the lights illuminate her deck, pool and dining room table at night, and the noise from the bleachers was so loud that she had to go indoors while taking a business call.

"I just think there's a big lack of concern for the neighbors and I think our quality of life has been extremely compromised," she said.

Scott Martzloff, East Williamsville's superintendent, said he had not heard of the project's adverse effect on residents. He said that the district had tried to accommodate residents' requests, such as turning scoreboards away from Chasewood Lane and Britannia Drive, moving the plan 60 yards to the north, and planting tries to block some of the light and noise.

"We've tried to be really sensitive to their needs and be good neighbors," Martzloff said. "We've made a lot of changes that have a financial cost to the district in an effort to meet their needs."

Finnegan said she hoped the district would pay for her cleanup expenses.

"If they're good neighbors, why don't they come over and pay for some of this stuff?" she said.

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