Changes to Preserve Wetlands made by Ball Park Owners
5 Diamonds ball park owner Thomas Kelenic hit a brick wall on February 12th when the Town of Waukesha Plan Commission postponed any decision regarding construction of a 43,000 square foot indoor training facility at the ball park. Kelenic was seeking approval to begin construction this month of a new indoor training facility that will be operated by NX Level Sports Performance.
“Click” any image to enlarge
At the Plan Commission hearing, concerns were brought up regarding a proposal that called for filling-in a small portion of wetlands so the building placement wouldn’t interfere with an existing baseball field. Six months of work and planning went in to securing necessary permits from state DNR, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and County officials to utilize a minuscule portion of wetlands. These documents may be viewed at pages 100-108 by visiting this link to the town’s website. The Town Plan Commission, however, stalled in making a decision due to a zoning issue.
Wetlands & C-1 Zoning
A small sliver (approximately 27, 168 sq. ft. or .62 acres) in the southeastern corner of 5 Diamonds property is zoned “C-1” (conservation) by the town. The DNR also has wetlands that overlap this area. There are hundreds of thousands of square footage of wetlands adjacent to the south and west sides of the ballpark. These areas, too, are zoned wetlands by the DNR, and C-1 by the town. Kelenic’s plan proposed the use of 6,927 sq. ft. of the wetland. The illustrations show this: “Red” = affected area, “Blue” = C-1 Zoning, “Green” = DNR Wetlands.
The originally proposed location of the building would have eliminated approximately 6,927 of the 27,168 sq. ft. of the C-1 zoning; leaving 20,241 sq. ft. of the C-1 zoning intact. *These numbers are based upon measurements and findings of the architect, and by using the Waukesha County’s GIS system and tools contained therein.
Wetlands Preservation Efforts by 5 Diamonds
For the first three years after the 5 Diamonds Ball Park was developed, substantial efforts were made to enhance the wetlands by doing controlled burns, and also eliminating invasive plant species. Mr. Kelenic is an avid outdoors sportsman with great respect and support for the conservancy of wetland areas.
Some well-known protestors in the town of Waukesha are trying to lead people into believing that wetlands are being destroyed under the development of the indoor training facility at 5 Diamonds. This is not true. The original plans are being blown out of proportion by these individuals.
Mr. Kelenic went to great measures to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State DNR Specialist, and Sr. Conservation Specialist from Waukesha County to seek guidance, permission, and the necessary permits for building the facility on the back of the 5 Diamonds property.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State DNR Specialist, and Sr. Conservation Specialist from Waukesha County are experts in the area of land preservation and conservation. These experts determined that taking away approximately 6,927 sq. ft. of the wetland is acceptable and has minimal impact on the enormous expanses of wetlands that surround the ball park.
New Plans Call for Moving the Building
Kelenic stated that new plans to avoid the wetlands are now in place. This means they had to push the building approximately 40 feet to the north. Essentially, the architect relocated the building and removed a 30-by-100-foot section of the building to meet the requirement of maintaining a 30 foot buffer adjacent to the wetlands. (Illustrations below)
The architect then added a large addition to the back of the building. Although the original plans called for a 43,000square-foot building, the changes actually bumped the building up to just under 47,000 square feet.
In order to preserve the wetlands by moving the building north, Kelenic will need to take away a small portion of the right field area of an existing baseball field, relocate the main ballpark power supply, and move one of the big lights that illuminate the southeast field.
“If completing this project with no interference to wetlands means some inconvenient changes and additional cost, I’m okay with that.”
Share this post via: