VERONA, NJ – The Verona Planning Board approved the Board of Education’s  plan to renovate and turf the upper and lower fields at Verona High School and add lights to Sellitto Field at its meeting Thursday night.

The Board of Education was seeking 11 variances in order to proceed with the project, which covered fencing and signage on the fields as well as relief from parking restrictions. The plans had come under scrutiny recently as residents of Dodd Terrace, Grove Avenue and Franklin Street raised concerns about traffic, lighting, noise and security issues among others necessitating a full site plan review.

Represented by lawyer Robert F. Simon, these residents sought restrictions on parking during football games, lighting, band practices, use of the PA system and its decibel level, as well as use of the facilities by out-of-town organizations. 

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Superintendent Rui Dionisio testified as to the intended usage of the fields, noting that night-time use would be limited to marching band practices in the fall and occasional games in the spring and fall from various sports, with no games starting after 7 p.m. 

The vote to approve the plan was unanimous, but the board did ask the Board of Education to petition the Town Council to evaluate parking on Dodd Terrace during football games and mandated that they follow the Verona Shade Tree Commission’s guidelines when landscaping.  In addition, the board asked for restrictions on evening field usage by out-of- town groups. 

The Board of Education will now begin the bidding process.