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Neighbors complain about field overuse

Soccer club uses Vanguard University's pitch too early and too late, residents say, making noise and taking up parking.

February 13, 2014|By Hannah Fry
  • Residents of Costa Mesa's Monticello and Newport Landing communities say they are battling noise, traffic and other problems associated with the excessive use of Vanguard University's soccer field.
Residents of Costa Mesa's Monticello and Newport… (Don Leach / Daily…)

Residents of Costa Mesa's Monticello and Newport Landing communities are facing off with Vanguard University over what they say is excessive use of the school's soccer field.

Bright field lights, early morning and late-evening play, noise, music and parking are among the annoyances they ascribe to the Costa Mesa-based youth soccer club using the complex.

Vanguard last year entered into a 10-year joint-use agreement, with the option to extend to 20, with Pateadores, allowing the group to use the university's soccer field on Vanguard Way, said Kelly Kannwischer, vice president of university advancement.

As part of the agreement, the club assisted the university, which is located near Costa Mesa City Hall, in paying for improvements to the complex.

Vanguard broke ground over the summer on the new soccer complex, which includes grandstand seating for a turf playing field and three futsal courts — soccer on a hard surface with a less-bouncy ball — and grandstand seating for spectators, over the summer.

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Construction is expected to be completed by the end of February or early March, Kannwischer said.

"We've been in the process of updating and improving the facility over the past several months," she said. "We'll go back to the soccer joint-field use that we've had for years with Pateadores."

The university and soccer club had an informal arrangement for three years before the more-formal agreement to make improvements now in place.

However, the increased parking problems and noise from practices are a new problem for residents living next to the field, said Dominique Secrest, a member of the Newport Landing homeowner's association.

Newport Landing homes are just a few feet away from the edge of the pitch, making residents more subject to noise and lights shining into their windows at night.

Practices start as early as 8 a.m. and go until 10 p.m. seven days a week, Secrest said.

"Even people with double-paned windows can hear the soccer whistle and music starting up at 8 in the morning," she said.

The club members also park in the limited space next to the field, making an already-troublesome parking situation for residents even more difficult, Secrest said.

"We all bought by a university," she said. "We understood that there was going to be activity, but we didn't buy in for this additional noise and traffic."

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