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Experts testify on light, noise from stadium


Expert witnesses for the Redskins testified yesterday that a proposed National Football League stadium is designed so that the impact of light and noise on the neighborhood will be minimal and should be well within legal limits.

The Redskins are attempting to show that they can conform to Anne Arundel County building code requirements for a special exception that would allow them to build the stadium in an industrial zone. They also must demonstrate that the stadium would be no more objectionable with regard to noise, fumes, vibrations or light than would a normal use allowed under the county code.

Team owner Jack Kent Cooke is seeking permission to build a 78,600-seat, $160 million stadium in western Anne Arundel County next to the Laurel Race Course. The zoning hearing is to determine whether the county grants the special exception and several variances from county codes on matters such as size and number of parking spaces, time allowed for project completion and landscaping.

John Frier, a Redskins lighting consultant, told Administrative Hearing Officer Robert C. Wilcox that the stadium lights would have louvers to keep the light focused on the field and prevent it from spilling beyond the stadium.

He acknowledged that some light would be reflected off the field into the sky, the equivalent of one floodlight aimed straight up, but that it would be visible from outside the stadium only if there were mist or dust in the atmosphere.

"So if you have a clear night, there will be no glow above the stadium," Mr. Frier said. "The effect on the surrounding property . . . would be less than moonlight."

Mr. Frier acknowledged that one could see a sliver of the banks of lights over the stadium parapet from Laurel Highlands, the closest neighborhood.

Buts, he said, the lights would not shine to any great extent in people's homes. "A three-watt nightlight in the bedroom would provide more illumination than these floodlights," he said.

Richard Talkin, a lawyer for Russett Center Ltd., a 3,000-home development near the proposed stadium, pointed out that Mr. Frier's study only took into account the stadium floodlights, but not lights from the concourse, the parking lot or car headlights.

Michael Fann, the Redskins noise consultant, said that the ceilings of the stadium concourse and the passageways would be sprayed with a sound-deadening material, a 16-foot tall parapet would be erected around the stadium to help contain noise and sound-absorbing blocks would be used within the structure.

"With these modifications, we can meet the ordinance requirements," Mr. Fann said.

The hearing will resume today at 6 p.m. at Meade Senior High School, with Mr. Wilcox hearing testimony from the public. The doors will open at 5:15 p.m. and anyone who wishes to address Mr. Wilcox must sign in.

Public testimony also will be heard during daytime sessions July 28 and July 29. Those hearings will begin at 9 a.m.

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