Letter From Craig Larsen

49er Stadium Impacts the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park

I take exception to Mr. Curylo’s claim (Letters – Sept. 7) that “the Youth Soccer Field is vacant on Sunday” and therefore youth soccer players will suffer no impact from the proposed 49er stadium. The Youth Soccer Park is heavily occupied during the fall soccer season (Sept. through Nov.) concurrent with the NFL schedule. For example, the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League, alone, has scheduled 45 Sunday games at the YSP this fall. Other organizations also schedule games at the YSP. Given the stadium crowd influx, traffic roadblocks/congestion, and crowd noise the YSP will be rendered unusable for soccer during NFL game/event days.

However, loss of use during NFL game/event days is not the only impact. The proposed stadium site is approximately 100 feet from the YSP. Noise, airborne particles and access to the YSP are of primary concern during construction. The EIR states: “Construction activities would result in significant, temporary impacts to local air quality”. Furthermore, The EIR says the “Typical construction noise level range” at 100 feet is a “Significant Temporary Impact” and the noise level range is “Incompatible” with recreational land use. Both construction and soccer are planned for Saturdays. Mitigation measures were specified in the EIR, but do we really want our youth athletes exposed to such noise and dust levels at 100 feet?

The current 4-lane Centennial Blvd access to the YSP will be replaced by a 2-lane driveway with no on-street overflow parking (loss of approximately 50 spaces). The YSP western entrance moves east losing 7 on-site parking spaces. The CIty has no plan to provide replacements for the permanent loss of approximately 57 total parking spaces.

In conclusion, the flawed stadium EIR did not fully and accurately address construction impact on YSP activities and youth participants. Saturday construction should be prohibited. The lost parking needs to be restored. The 49ers should provide Sunday soccer replacement facilities of equivalent capacity, quality and access at no cost. Our youth should be able to enjoy the recreational facilities our tax dollars paid for.