Several Green Oak Township residents say they’ve been experiencing issues with the Legacy Center sports complex, including light pollution, trespassing and even death threats from a worker and an employee.
Gary Ellis and his wife Patricia McAlpine-Ellis live on Rickett Road across the street from the Legacy Center on Goble Drive. They say light from the bright stadium-style lights is flooding into their house while they try to sleep, which is even more difficult when factoring in additional noise and traffic coming from the complex. Their property is taking a hit they say, stating that garbage is being dumped in their yard after events at the center and that over 50 sports balls have soared onto their property, one even breaking a screen door window. They say that has led to people trespassing onto their property to retrieve the balls, including children that cross the busy street to get to them. The Ellis’s are afraid that a child will be hit crossing the road or that an incoming ball will hit someone’s car.
Their frustrations led them and one of their neighbors to attend a meeting of the township’s Board of Trustees Wednesday to discuss their concerns with officials. Gary Ellis feels Legacy isn’t adhering to regulations outlined in the agreement made between the development and the township, like stipulations regarding lighting and necessary berms, or a roundabout that was supposed to be built at Winans Lake and Rickett Road, which has yet to come to fruition.
But some of the most concerning issues voiced by Ellis and his wife Patricia are allegations that they’ve received death threats. Ellis claims that an employee of Legacy threatened to burn his house down after Ellis complained about what he’s been experiencing. Ellis also says that a lighting contractor showed him his pistol and threatened to kill him after Ellis complained about the lights pointing toward his house. WHMI has reached out to Legacy for a response to the allegations of multiple threats. It has been confirmed that the threats were reported to police. The Ellis’s have installed 12 security cameras and motion sensors on their property.
They say they want the sports complex to be the good neighbors they said they would be when the development first received approval. Gary Ellis adds that he’d also like restitution and to be left alone. Supervisor Mark St. Charles says the township’s attorney and zoning administrator are already working to address some of the issues that have been raised. He added that they will review the stipulations of the Planned Unit Development agreement and will continue to work with the Ellis’s to ensure the situation is resolved. St. Charles told the Ellis’s and their neighbor that he thinks they’ve articulated what is being felt by many people. (DK)
Photos of light coming from the complex provided by Gary Ellis.