If the youth of America can’t play baseball, then the terrorists have already won.
But that’s exactly what’s happening just east of the Bay in Danville, where a father built a picturesque baseball field for his 11-year-old son and his Little League team. Unfortunately, despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the field’s construction, David Lowe did not obtain the proper permits and his (totally non-hyperbolic) neighbors complained:
The views give San Francisco’s AT&T Park a run for its money – Mount Diablo to the east, Las Trampas Regional Park to the west, old oaks all around.
Lowe calls it a “place for neighborhood children to play baseball.” His son, Greg, calls it “really cool.”
Opponents call it “Guantanamo Bay” because of its fences. The neighbors – many of whom are wealthy, though not build-your-own-ball-field wealthy – want it removed as soon as possible, rejecting Lowe’s proposal to hide it by planting tall trees …
“Is the next guy going to put a football field on the ridgeline?” neighbor Teri Rousseau asked while pointing to the black fence from her backyard.
The field was born when Lowe’s son’s team needed a coach. In order to make the scheduling work, Lowe decided to build a field on his 2.3-acre property. But neighbors complained, saying the chain-link fences and, well, grass ruined their picturesque views, because they “spent a lot of money on their houses and were counting on having a rural feel.” (Perhaps they should watch this movie.)
Despite the uproar, the field is now functional, complete with batting cages and electric/water hookups. Well for now …
Last night, the Danville Planning Commission voted 7-0 to deny permits for Lowe’s field, which means that Lowe must tear down the field and start the process over if desired. Ouch.
To be fair, it probably wasn’t the best idea for Lowe to spend all that dough to build an unapproved field and the law is the law, but at the same time, ugly and generic houses are sprouting up like weeds on picturesque ridgelines throughout the Bay. Is “Guantanamo Field” really that much worse? Is this the modern day equivalent of Mr. Pine’s Purple House?
God forbid Americans have to play and watch baseball, despite Bud Selig’s best efforts.
Won’t someone please think of the children?!
[Photo courtesy: Chronicle/David Paul Morris]