Neighbors reiterate opposition to ball fields
Pataskala's parks and recreation advisory board has modified plans to build two baseball diamonds in Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park, 10255 McIntosh Road in Pataskala, but several neighbors told the board Feb. 12 they still don't like the project.
"I don't know how many times we have to tell you people we don't want it," said Gloria Coakley, who lives on Broadview Court.
The board voted 5-0 to table the proposal until the March 12 meeting.
Coakley brought a petition signed by 26 of the 35 residents on Broadview Court stating they do not want a baseball diamond adjacent to their backyards.
She said three real-estate agents have said the two new fields would lower residents' property values and residents are concerned about dust that could come from a new gravel parking lot.
Noise, lights and people lingering at the fields also could cause problems, Coakley said.
Debbie Cannon of Broadview Court and Brian Crock of Bent Tree Lane also spoke against the fields, mentioning traffic, which they said already is an issue.
"When soccer games let out and other ball games let out, it's hard to get out of my driveway," Crock said.
Joshua John of Joseph van Dorn Street said he thinks more neighbors need to be notified of the plans. He said he found out about the advisory board meeting just hours before it took place.
City Administrator Timothy Boland said more neighbors could be contacted prior to future meetings.
Pataskala City Council approved legislation in August authorizing construction of two fields, which can only happen with financial support from the Central Ohio Clippers, a youth baseball league that spent $14,000 to rebuild the Pataskala Municipal Park baseball field.
Park board member Rob Platte said the board reviewed the proposal after residents spoke against it at Pataskala City Council meetings.
The plan he presented Feb. 12 showed one of the baseball diamonds could be built farther west, northwest of the existing diamonds. The other was left adjacent to the west edge of homes on Broadview with the field's edge 80 to 100 feet from residents' yards, he said.
A gravel parking lot could be built south of the field closest to Broadview Court, which would add 10 parking spaces, Platte said.
Platte said the lights would be directional and would not shine in residents' homes. He said lights would not be used every night since the fields would be used primarily for tournament play.
Residents have complained about trash attracting rodents but that would not be an issue, he said, because park users would be required to empty trash cans.
Platte also said people have said the park will cause higher insurance rates for neighbors but that would not happen unless a claim is filed that mentions the park.
Boland said any changes to the field plan would have to be approved by Pataskala City Council. He said legislation passed in August allowed construction of the fields but it did not include lighting, which also would have to be approved by City Council before it could be installed.