HAMMONTON — The Planning Board postponed until Sept. 4 a hearing on final major site-plan approval for St. Joseph Catholic High School to install athletic field lights at its Wood Street field so that night games may be held there.  

The board had been scheduled to hear the plans at a meeting Wednesday, but the meeting was canceled, along with its Aug. 21 meeting, due to possible lack of quorum, Chairman Ed Marinelli said. He said some members had trips scheduled in August, so it was best to reschedule for September.

The public safety portion of the final major site plan was presented to Town Council July 22. It included banning street parking within two blocks of Wood Street during games and requiring all parking to be on fields inside the recreation complex.

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It also allows for overflow parking at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society lot on Third Street, almost a mile away; and requires the school to fund at least six police officers to handle traffic and pedestrian crossings around the site.

Town Council passed a resolution in favor of the plan, but only if police Chief Robert Jones has final say over which games can be played at night. Jones said at that meeting he would not allow games that attract larger audiences, such as those against Hammonton and Holy Spirit high schools, to be played at night there.

Some residents favor the lighting plan, saying it provides a wholesome Friday night activity for families, and allows football players to avoid playing in high temperatures on Saturday afternoons.

Others who live nearby oppose it, citing safety issues related to having hundreds of cars come through the area while it is dark.

Also to be heard Sept. 4 is the change-of-use application by Thomas Costa to convert office space at 317 Bellevue Ave. to an apartment. That issue previously had been scheduled for the Aug. 21 meeting.

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