SUNSET HILLS, Mo. ( – Many Sunset Hills residents are upset that officials gave the green light to a proposed rugby park.

“They said they were going to listen to residents, and they didn’t do that,” said John Stephens.

More than 100 residents who live near the old Sunset Hills golf course have made it clear to aldermen that they don’t want a section of the course converted into a rugby park. The 122-acre property was donated to the city by the former owner in November.

Looking for a way to upkeep the property, city leaders approved a lease with the St. Louis Bombers rugby team. That lease would allow the team to convert up to 22 acres of the land for three rugby fields fitted with lights, bleachers, and space to accommodate up to 800 guests for games and tournaments.

But for residents like Gena and John Stephens, they worry the fields will bring unwanted traffic, bright lights and big noises to their quite community.

“People that live right along that bluffs are going to be hearing this and people cheering, seeing the lights and probably have their home value decreased,” said Gena Stephens.

However, resident Erin Kelly welcomes the idea.

“I’m excited to bring a sport that’s inclusive and diverse for our area,” said Kelly.

The Board of Aldermen voted 5-2 to approve the development plan Tuesday night. But residents say they are not taking the vote as the final answer.

“This will continue, a group of us have sought legal counsel, we believe there been some ordinances that have been violated,” said Gena Stephens.

The city says they haven’t violated any ordinances. They put restrictions on the development plan. There will be no public address system, no alcohol sales after 10:00 p.m., and field lighting must also be turned off by 10:00 p.m.

The rugby team says they’ve been looking forward to getting the fields approved. They’ve started raising money to finance the construction.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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