Saturday, June 6, 2009

A response to Commissioner Leonard

On his blog this evening, Commissioner Randy Leonard posted an update on the plan to build a professional baseball stadium in beautiful Lents Park. He also took a swipe at opponents of the plan, saying his information was "contrary to speculation and misinformation."

He certainly couldn't be referring to Friends of Lents Park, because the plan on his Web site looks pretty much like every plan we've seen so far.

While we appreciate Commissioner Leonard working on the weekend to reach out to constituents, there are many concerns that weren't addressed in his posting today:
  • Mitigation for neighbors of the new stadium, whose houses will be, in some cases, less than 150 feet away from the stadium. Baseball stadiums have floodlights, public address systems, fans and sometimes fireworks, and games regularly last past 10 p.m.
  • A plan to compensate for the dramatic loss of funds from the Lents Urban Renewal District, as outlined by a budget proposal from the Portland Development Commission.
  • Details on what other events are planned for the stadium besides Triple-A baseball. Will it host concerts, college baseball games, Major League exhibition games, games from other sports, etc.?
  • An explanation as to why a baseball stadium in Lents Park will foster new urban development when no Triple-A stadium built outside a city's downtown core has brought development to the neighborhood around it?
  • Information on parking. Trips on MAX to other areas in Portland will be very, very long (26 minutes to Gresham, 30 minutes to Pioneer Square, 53 minutes to Beaverton, 63 minutes to Kenton, 79 minutes to Hillsboro), and many fans will drive to a stadium with 200 parking spaces. Where will their cars go and how will that impact stadium neighbors used to seeing a lush, family-oriented park outside their doors, not streets jammed with parallel parkers?
  • Real details on access for the community to the new stadium. Will the gates be open to all comers the rest of the year? How much will users be charged to use the stadium? What insurance requirements will the city and Beavers have for teams wishing to play at the field? Will local leagues be able to use the stadium on game days?
  • Real details on mentoring and community involvement plans from the Beavers. Considering Triple-A players start batting practice at about 4:30 p.m., that doesn't leave a lot of time for mentoring during the school year (Marshall High School gets out at 3:15 p.m.)
Our questions aren't about tweaks in the plans. Our questions are about how we are supposed to live with a stadium in our park, as it is planned right now.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Randy, why not just admit the main reason to choose Lent s is t he $42 million