Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

College withdraws Chase appeal but neighbors don't

After a year and a half of controversy, the College has agreed to a compromise plan for the Chase Field project, but the plan is on hold until two appeals filed by town residents are resolved.

In a letter to the planning board, Project Manager Cynthia Crutchfield said the College is withdrawing its request for modifications of the existing site plan and will drop the appeal previously filed in Grafton County Superior Court.

After the planning board's November ruling, Dartmouth filed a suit appealing the decision, stating that the restrictions placed on the project were unfair and unconstitutional.

Residents followed the College's appeal with their own counter-suit, which is still pending in Grafton Superior Court. They have also filed a second appeal in response to a zoning board decision regarding the height of light poles.

Construction cannot begin on the project until all pending appeals are resolved, planning board Chairman Charles Faulkner said.

This means that plans for construction are still on hold until the lawsuits are either dismissed, dropped or decided on.

Nina Lloyd, spokesperson for the neighborhood residents, was unwilling to comment on the status of their lawsuits yesterday. She said it was unclear what course of action the neighbors would take in response to the College's appeal withdrawal.

On April 6, the College filed a set of proposed modifications which were the result of a compromise plan between Dartmouth and the neighborhood surrounding Chase Field. Since then, however, the neighbors informed the College that they did not have an agreement, according to Crutchfield's letter.

It was then decided that the College would withdraw their Superior Court appeal of the board's November 1998 ruling which placed 17 conditions on the project, and proceed according to the revised conditions which were approved in January, College Counsel Cary Clark said.

Chase Field is currently used by the soccer, lacrosse and field hockey teams. The College plans to build indoor tennis courts

and an artificial turf field with lighting for night practice and competition.

Among the restrictions placed on the project were limiting nighttime game play to only 10 events per year, practices on the artificial turf field to before 8 p.m. and use of the public address system to prohibit music other than the National Anthem and sponsorship announcements.

The new artificial turf field and indoor tennis courts will relieve overcrowding in Leverone Field house and give spring and fall athletic teams much needed practice space for when natural grass fields are unusable because of weather conditions, Deputy Director of Athletics Robert Ceplikas said. The current practice space in Leverone is shared by nine varsity teams, four club teams and the College's ROTC program during inclement weather.