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Milwaukie ballpark planning moves forward; forum scheduled for Monday

Northwest LeagueAfter three public forums to determine public interest in a new ballpark for a short-season Northwest League team, Milwaukie (Ore.) officials are ready to hear a progress report and decide whether to move forward.

360 Architecture, which has been working on a feasibility plan for the proposed ballpark, will present information on the ballpark orientation, site information and possible uses besides baseball.

That won’t answer the biggest questions from city residents: namely, how will the ballpark affect them? A funding plan needs to be put forward, and a study of traffic and light will be needed to address the inevitable objections from NIMBY foes already being raised. So expect Monday’s meeting to cover a lot of generalities about the ballpark, followed by a discussion of whether to spend more money on a detailed plan from 360 Architecture. Nothing will happen quickly: even if ballpark foes are placated and the city moves ahead with preliminary planning, nothing will be finalized until a November referendum on any ballpark plan.

A new ballpark in Milwaukie would mean the return of professional baseball to the Portland area. A proposal for a new ballpark in nearby Clark County, Washington failed when county commissioners voted down a proposal for an amusement tax to help fund a facility for the relocating Yakima Bears (short season A; Northwest League).

The plan from Milwaukie calls for 4,000-seat ballpark to be built on the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail corridor at a a state-owned maintenance yard. The site also includes a 1938 historic structure that could be converted to a brewpub by a prominent brewpub chain. Mike Higgins, former senior vice president of Portland’s PGE Park, has been working on the plan.

Molly Harbarger at The Oregonian has more.

RELATED STORIES: Milwaukie seeks public input on new ballpark; Milwaukie moves ahead with ballpark-feasibility study; Clark County postpones ballpark hearing; County scales back commitment to Portland-area ballpark; Competing ballpark plans in Portland; New Portland-area ballpark could provide economical bump: study; Clark County reverses course; will exclusively negotiate with Bears; Clark County passes on exclusive negotiations with Bears; opposition to new ballpark rises; Funding plan emerges for new Clark County ballpark; Yakima Bears to Portland area


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