After breaking ground in the summer of 2011 amid neighbors’ concerns of the 75’ tall lights, the 5 Diamonds baseball complex opened their facility this spring. During their first season 832 teams played 2,600 games with more than 146,000 spectators in attendance. Naturally, the neighbors who opposed the complex from the onset affirmed their position by complaining that 5 Diamonds is not following the rules set forth in their conditional use permit.
Ultimately 5 Diamonds moved to have the baseball complex annexed into the City of Waukesha, which was approved by the Plan Commission last month. The matter came before the Waukesha Common Council last week and the results were a 7 to 7 vote, with Mayor Scrima casting the sway vote for approval of annexation.
We should all be very concerned as to why 7 Waukesha Common Council members voted against the annexation of 5 Diamonds Fields.
Feeding Into Unfounded Negative Rhetoric
Unfortunately it appears that seven of the Waukesha Common Council members are feeding into a negative rhetoric campaign that is being drummed up in the media by one of the chief complainant’s, Sandy Hamm. It just so happens to be that Mr. Hamm is the General Manager of Newsfinder, a service of the Associated Press. Is there a correlation between Mr. Hamm’s affiliation with the Associated Press and the plethora of negative media rhetoric that has been generated over the last year?
I believe it is important to focus on the facts and bring them to the attention of the Waukesha Common Council members and general public so the truth may be discerned for consideration of 5 Diamonds request for annexation into the city. I implore the Waukesha Common Council to seek and find the truth and to serve the desires of the people in your respective districts and city of Waukesha as a whole.
Facts and Validation of Alleged Violations
Over the course of the 2012 season at 5 Diamonds numerous complaints have been lodged against the baseball complex by the same neighbors. The primary complaints are that lights are being kept on a half-hour after games have concluded. 13 of the allegations are based upon games starting early on weekends.
No Citations or Fines Imposed
First, let’s look at one very critical point to all of the alleged violations.
Despite complaints having been made to Waukesha Town Board Members over the course of the first season, not one single citation or forfeiture was issued against 5 Diamonds or its owners, Thomas Kelenic and Greg Beatty. Doesn’t that seem strange?
Clearly it is reasonable to infer that the complaints are unfounded; otherwise there would be some accountability or sanction imposed against 5 Diamonds for violating the law.
Lights on After Games
FACT: During the 2012 season all but one baseball game ended by 10:00pm. One high school game ran until 10:20pm due to a delay because of inclimate weather/lightning.
FACT: During the 2012 season 60-80 games were cut short to meet “lights off” time limits.
FACT: The primary “lights on after games” complaints are based upon the time after games when cleanup is being done – a time that is permitted under the conditional use permit.
FACT: During the 2012 season not one game was started after 7:30pm.
The approved lighting schedule under the conditional use permit is broken down into three groups that extend from March to October:
1) March-April, 2) May-August 15th, 3) August 16th-October 31st
With the exception of the months of March-April the conditional use permit allows lights to be on from 8:00am – 10:30pm Monday – Saturday, and from 8:00am – 7:30pm on Sundays:
- Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm. FIELD LIGHTS OUT AT 10:00pm; however two field light poles per baseball diamond may remain lit until 10:30pm if necessary for egress and cleanup.
- Sundays 8:00am -7:00pm. FIELD LIGHTS OUT AT 7:00pm; however two field light poles per baseball diamond may remain lit until 7:30pm if necessary for egress and cleanup.
Games Starting Early on Weekends
FACT: During the 2012 season not one game started before 8:00am.
Pursuant to the conditional use permit 5 Diamonds is allowed to be open between the hours of 8:00am and 10:00pm. Generally, weekend games begin at 8:00am, however, coaches and players arrive earlier to gather and assemble their gear, and to warm up before the start of the game.
Perhaps on occasion players may have been assembling and preparing for a game before 8:00am? However, games never began sooner than 8:00am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Preparing and warming up before game time is fundamental to the game of baseball or any sporting event. Has anyone once gone to a Brewers, Packers, or Bucks game and not seen the players warming up before the game?
5 Diamonds Does Not Need City Water
FACT: 5 Diamonds attains water independently and will not have to rely on water from the City of Waukesha.
At the November 08, 2012 Common Council meeting at least one Council member voiced their concern that 5 Diamonds would pose an undue burden on the city’s water supply and thereby opposed annexation.
Plea to Common Council Members
To deny 5 Diamonds annexation on mere allegations violates even the simplest rudiments of due process which restore faith that fair dealing rather than caprice will govern the affairs of men.
Waukesha Common Council members should not give credibility to any unsubstantiated hearsay that 5 Diamonds breaks the rules and doesn’t follow the terms of the conditional use permit. All of the allegations are just that, allegations. There have been no fines or other proof that a legal/judicial authority determined that 5 Diamonds broke the law and as such the allegations are unfounded.
5 Diamonds has and will continue to comply with any and all covenants established between them and the Town or City of Waukesha.
5 Diamonds attains water independently and will not have to rely on water from the City of Waukesha.Share this post via: