.

Indian Meadow Neighbors Successfully Bat Away Baseball Tenants

A collective effort on the part of residents of the Indian Meadow neighborhood results in a "no" from the ZBA.

Indian Meadow Drive residents, and neighbors in surrounding streets, were successful in their endeavor to keep Ruffnecks baseball from moving into their neighborhood.

Drawing rousing applause, the Zoning Board of Appeals denied the request of New England Baseball to purchase the land from IM Gold, which owns Indian Meadows Golf Club, to turn into a four-diamond complex and the home of the Ruffnecks.

More than 150 residents turned out for a at the Northborough Free Library on Tuesday night.

Despite New England Baseball's including removing lights on some of the fields and changing the hours of play, residents were still opposed.

Representatives from New England Baseball, and the neighborhoods that would be affected by the purchase, gave updated presentations on the impact the baseball complex could potentially have.

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

To deny the application, it had to be proved that baseball would have a "significant and detrimental" change on the neighborhood that exceeded the effects of golf. New England Baseball, represented by lawyer Mark Donahue, argued that baseball differed little from golf in its effects, and brought in experts to present exhaustive sound and light studies.

Residents, led by a detailed presentation by Tom Racca and David Henry, were adamant that the impact—primarily in terms of sight and sound—would change the ambience of the neighborhood as they knew it.

"We have been trying to be respectful and courteous," said Racca, "but there is emotion and passion here. This is our home. Our neighborhood is quiet, especially in the eveig. This is a neighborhood where we can walk our kids and walk our dogs and you can unwind. We would never be able to do that again and have quiet conversations in the summer. It would be a change in our way of life and where we live."

Donahue reiterated that "we never suggested that there is no additional sound. we never said that. It's a nonconforming use and can be changed to another nonconforming use as was voted on at Town Meeting."

In the end, ZBA members unanimously agreed with residents.

"I looked up the words substantial and detrimental before this meeting," said board member Fran Bakstran. "You can argue that this would be a more detrimental and substantial use. Golf and baseball are different enough to me to say they are not a similar recreational use."

Board member Mark Rutan said he didn't think the noise would be a substantial issue, but that the light would.

"I live near the high school, and the noise doesn't have an impact on the enjoyment of my property," said Rutan. "But this is bringing lights closer, and these lights will have some carry over into the atmosphere. I think it is significant that this area doesn't have lights and it would substantially change the night-time character of the neighborhood."

Pdietz September 05, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Thank you ZBA!!
Postman September 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM
"We have been trying to be respectful and courteous," said Racca, "but there is emotion and passion here. This is our home. Our neighborhood is quiet, especially in the eveig. This is a neighborhood where we can walk our kids and walk our dogs and you can unwind. We would never be able to do that again and have quiet conversations in the summer. It would be a change in our way of life and where we live Yeah, that's accurate Tom. What a joke.
Bob Weir September 05, 2012 at 12:55 PM
"exceeded the effects of golf"!! Isn't that just about everything? What other use would not exceed the effects of golf? How about another neighborhood with screaming children, lawn mowers and numerous cars coming and going JUST like the Indian Meadows neighborhood which used to be a golf course!! Too bad the people on Davis St and in Northgate didn't complain then when they built all those houses. Nothing but NIMBY at is best here.
Joe Jeffrey September 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Charlene, do you have any idea what will become of the land? Will the golf course continue to operate or is it closing regardless of this proposed purchase? If Indian Meadows closes, will it just become a Westboro/Northboro town park?
Kirby September 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
That is sad...would have been great to attend these games.
Karen Ares September 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM
While I am happy for the Indian Meadows residents, I am completely flabbergasted at the decision of the ZBA who unanimously APPROVED the project at 130 Main St. despite the same number of concerned citizens over traffic and safety. I honestly don't get it.
Brad Blanchette September 05, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Nice to see Northborough Zoning Board actually siding with the residents!
43 year resident September 06, 2012 at 12:05 AM
If you read up on town history Davis Street did fight Indian Meadow Dr but it was zoned residential and there are only certain things you can put on a residential lot. Houses are one use allowed legally. The golf course is also zoned residential and must revert back to residential when not a golf course. The ZBA did a good job following the zoning laws which are put in place to protect residents and businesses in town.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something