The new golf facility at the Morewood property, Harbor Links, will include a driving range, which will be a "revenue producer" according to Michael Miller, Town of North Hempstead ombudsman. The driving range is situated on the west side of the site. It is approximately 50 yards X 350 yards and will have approximately 40 stalls on one side and 20 on the other side which will be used primarily for instruction. The hours of operation have not yet been determined, but by zoning ordinance the latest the range can stay open is 11 p.m. Snack bar type food will be available.
According to Mr. Miller, officials from the town recently met with local civic groups, concerned citizens and homeowners whose properties abut the new facility to discuss the lighting plans for the driving range. The residents were advised that the lighting experts hired by the Town are Greenman-Pederson Consulting Engineers and Musco Lighting. Musco Lighting is one of North America's premier innovators and experts at outdoor sports facility lighting, according to Mr. Miller. Offering an example of one of the firm's projects, Mr. Miller advises that one of their projects was to redesign the lighting at Daytona Speedway, where a nearby airport and 200 m.p.h. speeds required precise control of glare and spill lighting.
Speaking about the technology used, Mr. Miller reports that the driving range will be lighted at the lowest level recommended by national golf associations (22 foot candles at the tee boxes). Musco plans to install its special "Level Eight" system, which uses complex fixtures which break up and redirect glare back onto the field to be lit. These metal halide lights put out 100 lumens per watt, more than halogen or mercury vapor lights which you see in most street and building lighting; they also put out a whiter, crisper, warmer color, says Mr. Miller.
In terms of the actual plan, Mr. Miller advises, there will be eleven sixty foot-tall light stanchions, four on each long end of the range and three behind the tee boxes. Each stanchion along the long ends will hold two 1500 watt lights, and the stanchions behind the tees will hold three. The higher up the lights are from the playing surface, the better we can control light spillage, Mr. Miller states.
Af fifteen feet above grade, the light will be 14 foot candles. At 30 feet above grade it will be four foot candles. The light will dissipate to zero foot candles at 100 feet above grade. The homes above the cliffs are at least 160 feet above grade (that's 220 feet above sea level) and are on average about 170 feet above grade. The lighting system has been designed to ensure that there will be no impact of glare or "skyglow" on nearby residences.
While there are no plans to construct a second deck on the driving range at this time, the lighting is being designed with a second deck in mind, for which inoffensive lighting could be retrofitted at a later date.
Mr. Miller adds that the driving range lights will be tested after completion to assure that the high standards set by the Town and its light designers are met.
In terms of the lighting for the senior housing development, the roads are private property, and the planned lighting will be lower in illumination than Town standards, according to Barry Sherman, a resident who attended the meeting. They are planning to use street lights modeled after the "old-fashioned" wooden lights on Robert Moses' parkways. The lights in the emergency bays for ambulance access are designed and located in areas so as not to present light pollution at the top of the bluffs, he added.
Mr. Miller advised that residents who wish to have their names put on the town mailing list for information regarding Harbor Links can call 869-7710. If you get the recorded message, you can leave your name and address.
Looking ahead, at the March 24 Town of North Hempstead meeting, it's expected that the rules governing fees and registrations for the golf course will be set.