At a meeting last week, Franklin, WI officials signed off on a series of special requests for the proposed Ballpark Commons development.
As has been proposed, the Ballpark Commons project will feature a new ballpark along with surrounding development that includes amenities such as an retail, dining options, and a driving range. One of the latest steps in the ongoing consideration of the project was for the Franklin plan commission to vote on several special requests for the development, including an environmental exception to fill existing wetlands at the site while having the developer–Zim-Mar Properties, LLC–create new replacement wetlands.
Some of those who spoke at public meetings expressed their concerns and criticism over some of the requests. However, the plan commission ultimately recommended the various requests to the Franklin Common Council, including the filling of wetlands, special use for the facility, and a third that allowed for an increase in maximum building height and certain permitted uses. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
City Engineer Glen Morrow said these wetlands are on a landfill that was once a quarry, adding they are not the best wetlands.
The second approval was for a special use for the stadium. Another approval, however, is still needed for the stadium to be built. This approval simply allows for its use, according to Franklin’s Planning Manager Joel Dietl.
Mike Zimmerman, owner of Zim-Mar Properties, LLC and The Rock Sports Complex, 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive, had hoped to hold concerts, fireworks displays and other events in the stadium.
However, the commission voted in line with the staff recommendation that the stadium use is approved but not the extra uses.
While these decisions represented a step forward for the project, Ballpark Commons is still subject to various layers of approval at the local and state levels. As of September, it was estimated that construction on the development could begin in the spring of 2018, with the new ballpark potentially opening in 2019.
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