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Indoor Baseball Facility Tags Up

Hearing postponed amid community outrage.

Dorian Delaney wants to know why no one told her an indoor baseball facility was going to be built in what amounts to her backyard.

“The community is in a complete uproar,” Delaney said.

Delaney is a resident of Chelsea Towers, a condominium community, and her unit overlooks Cabin John Park. Park and Planning, which administers the park, has been developing a public-private partnership to build an indoor baseball facility in the park. Montgomery Lane, LLC, a subsidiary of Sandy Spring Builders, was the company set to build the facility. Montgomery Lane did not return The Almanac’s calls by its Tuesday deadline.

“The commission conducted two community meetings and public notices were posted for both of those meetings,” said Terry Brooks, of Park and Planning.

WHEN DECIDING who to contact for a public meeting, Park and Planning uses a geographic database. “We identified those within a quarter-mile of the park. Our database generated six contacts,” said Carolyn Wainright. Wainwright explained that the database does not maintain a listing of each individual in a condominium complex. “We just have addresses for the building’s property managers, owners or community associations,” Wainwright said.

“Many communities were excluded from that list,” Delaney said.

Wainwright said that in order for a community association to be in the database, the association must keep Park and Planning up to date on the contact information. “We did not get any returns back,” Wainright said of the letters that were sent out.

“The people will sign affidavits noting that they have never received these letters,” Delaney said.

MANY NEARBY residents are opposed to the facility. “We’re not against baseball, we want to keep that green space intact,” Delaney said.

“It’s a safe place for a woman to walk with a dog or a small child,” said John Turak, a resident of Westlake Terrace. “The whole area around here is apartments and townhouses. This is our backyard.”

Others contend that the area is not “green space” at all. “The proposal is to build this where there is an underused handball court and a volleyball pit,” said Bruce Adams, a member of B-CC Baseball. B-CC Baseball was slated to become the primary tenant of the proposed facility.

Traffic was another concern. “We’ve had five pedestrians struck and killed within the last five to six years,” Delaney said. “Let’s address the overcrowding on Westlake Drive.”

A PUBLIC hearing at Park and Planning, which had been scheduled for April 3, has been postponed at the builder’s request, according to Brooks. “We’ve asked them to provide some information,” Brooks said. He explained that a market study and a traffic study had been requested by Park and Planning.