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Summit Ballpark Plan Draws Opposition

Summit Ballpark rendering

A proposed Summit, WI ballpark project is drawing opposition, as some citizens express concerns over plans for the venue and surrounding sports complex. 

Diamond Club Entertainment LLC is spearheading the proposal, which calls for the redevelopment of an existing farm field along Interstate 94 in the village of Summit, a small suburb of Milwaukee. The current scope of the project includes a 3,000-capacity ballpark, reportedly housing a summer-collegiate Northwoods League team, as the anchor of a larger project that would also feature three surrounding multipurpose fields, and a 50,000-square-foot indoor facility.

Plans for the proposal have not moved forward yet, though they have been the subject of debate at public meetings and are drawing some opposition in the form of a website from a group of “concerned citizens” who contend that the project goes against intended uses for the site. For now, Diamond Club Entertainment–backed by a contingent that includes Tim Neubert, Tom Kelenic and Sonny Bando–will press forward with its efforts. More from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“They’re paying attention to what’s going on in their backyard,” Neubert said of the opposition website. “They have questions, they have concerns. We can fully appreciate where they’re coming from. What we’ve tried to do is provide them with information that is just not opinion. There was a reason for why we did those studies. Those studies were not done haphazardly by somebody off the street. The traffic study was done by the company that the village has used in the past for other projects.”

One of the arguments residents have focused on involves the development not being consistent with the village’s master plan. For the proposal to advance, a village ordinance would need to be amended to allow private outdoor recreational facilities as a permitted use and to rezone the land from agricultural to business park.

“We moved here and live here because we value the rural character, peace and quiet of this beautiful place,” the website stated. “Our shorelands and nature are precious to us. The village plan for the proposed stadium site was for ‘low density’ corporate offices or business park, only to be developed on sewer and water. An outdoor event venue is not a permitted use.”

Village Planner Henry Elling said the village’s master plan requires sewer and water service for any development. If Diamond Club Entertainment were to proceed with the development, the group would need an amendment approved to begin construction without sewer and water service.

Diamond Club Entertainment previously pitched a similar proposal in Pewaukee, before shifting its focus to Summit.

Rendering courtesy Jendusa Design & Engineering.