The lights at could stay on until 10 p.m. to allow tennis and basketball games to go later on summer evenings under a plan that’s looking for zoning approval on Wednesday.
The proposal to extend the end time of the lights from 9:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. will go before the Hamilton Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night at . The board meets at 7 p.m.
It has the support of Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Commission and Hamilton Board of Selectmen.
Just recently, a feature was added to the lights – – above the tennis courts and basketball court to allow them to be controlled by anyone who shows up to play.
Recreation Director Sean Timmons said anyone can press a button on the Asbury Street side of the tennis courts to turn on the court lights.
The idea to extend the evening end time for the lights is motivated largely by the desire to make the courts available for families and pickup games into the evening, and not for leagues.
“It’s a way to provide the residents a little more time to use the facilities,” Timmons said in an interview with Patch.
Already, the new button – which was installed a few weeks ago – makes it much easier for residents to show up, turn on the lights and start playing. Previously, “it was quite a process” to get the lights on, Timmons said.
Under the new system, an orange light along the side of the tennis courts flashes when the lights are about to go out. Someone just needs to go press the button again to keep them on, otherwise they go out.
The lights over the baseball field, which is used by Little League, would not often be on until 10 p.m., he said. Little League rules bar an inning from starting after 8:30 p.m., he said. Practices follow a similar schedule and the lights are not on the larger baseball field used by the varsity baseball team, he said.
“You’re probably not going to see much of a change” with the baseball field lighting schedule, Timmons said. Plus, the baseball field lights are on a separate system and programmed weekly by Timmons, in consultation with Little League.
The lights on the Little League baseball field may occasionally be used as late as 10 p.m. for special events, he said, such as .
Timmons has already gone before the Planning Board and received an endorsement of the plan if neighbors are OK with it.
The Hamilton Board of Selectmen also OKed moving forward with the application to the Zoning Board.
“This is approval to petition the Zoning Board of Appeals,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo after the Selectmen’s vote.
Selectman Jeff Hubbard asked that the application also include the lights above Weaver Pond that allow for ice skating during winter evenings.