North Canton Neighborhoods Are Under Attack!

Prepared comments presented before North Canton City Council regarding proposed changes to the lease of the North Canton Little League to allow lighting on four ballfields.

Prepared Comments Made to


February 4, 2013

          Neighborhoods in North Canton are under assault. Throughout the city, neighborhoods are dealing with foreclosures and rentals. In my neighborhood, my wife and I have seen the attack on the serenity of our neighborhood escalate. Early last year, an arsonist torched a rental property and due to the close proximity of house next door, two homes were destroyed.

        In the last few months, another rental property, three doors down from my home, was discovered to be a “Meth House.”

        Foreclosures that linger in our neighborhoods, single-family homes that are turned into rentals and multiply up and down streets destroy neighborhoods and drive families out of their homes. This is how communities lose good solid law-abiding citizens.

        But it is not just the activities that I have described that drive away the solid citizens who live in our neighborhoods. There are other more subtle causes.

        The proposed expansion of the activities conducted by the North Canton Little League is an intrusion on the peace and serenity of a neighborhood that can start the decline of a neighborhood. 

        In the past, this council has been well aware of the need to maintain peace and tranquility for homeowners.

        Ten years ago, in order to maintain neighborhoods surrounding Arrowhead Golf Course, City Council saw the need to spend $4.2 million and purchased Arrowhead Golf Course to insure peace and tranquility of the surrounding neighborhoods. 

        A few years later, City Council acted to ensure that Briar and Weber Streets remained as dead-end streets and were not opened up when the Sanctuary subdivision was developed. There have been other streets that have remained dead ends. The residents of Grassmere Street did not want their street opened up into Monticello. A street in Surrey Hill subdivision was kept a dead end to maintain peace and tranquility at the request of residents.

        In each instance, City Council heard the concerns of the residents and acted to protect homeowners from unwanted intrusions in to their neighborhood. 

        Why is it now that residents surrounding the East Maple Street Little League Ball Fields are not given the same protections that have been afforded many other North Canton neighborhoods?

        The fact of the matter is that the neighborhoods surrounding the North Canton Little League Ball Fields have received little support from the Administration or City Council in their effort to maintain the serenity of their homes and yards. 

        Parking issues in violation of the current lease have been flagrant for years. I myself have driven down East Maple Street and phoned in blatant parking violations when games are played. I do not live adjacent to the ball fields but I have heard from many residents regarding the intrusive use of loudspeakers during little league games. 

        All of these intrusions destroy the peaceful atmosphere nearby residents should be able to enjoy. It does not take many intrusions such as this to push residents out of their homes and out of North Canton. 

        The activities conducted by the North Canton Little League have exceeded the intent and purpose of the gift made to the City of North Canton. 

        It is a little league ball field intended for North Canton Little Leaguers. It was never envisioned to be Candlestick Park.

        The property is also on the site of a well field that deserves protection from activities that could harm the underlying aquifer.

        How can the security of the well field be maintained when numerous structures are built, light poles implanted, and additional parking installed to accommodate hundreds of automobiles? 

        What about the Greenspace that is being obliterated in the process?

        I have a problem with the fact that 19 acres of public property have been given to a select group of individuals for their exclusive use. 

        Under the terms of the quit-claim deed gifting the property from the Hoover Company to the City of North Canton, the property was to be used “…exclusively for a public park and/or any other public use consistent herewith….”

        Leasing the entire 19 acres to individuals at the exclusion of North Canton residents seemingly violates the terms of that gift from the Hoover Company. 

        How many little leaguers who play at the ball field are actual residents of North Canton? 

        I urge this council to deny any further expansion of activities at the North Canton Little League Ball Field and further urge that the Administration enforce all the terms of the current lease.

        Lastly, I would like to commend the principals of the North Canton Little League for their efforts in providing organized sports for our youngsters but it cannot come at the expense of the peace and serenity of the residents and neighborhoods of North Canton. 


Thank you,

Chuck Osborne

Resident, City of North Canton    

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

jim February 09, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Seems like most of these posts are dedicated to shooting the messenger. I have seen out of hand parking there when I drove by. Looks worse than some county fairs on a nice Saturday with vehicles parked helter scelter on every patch of turf the driver can squeeze into. Some spots have to be a hazard when the driver backs out onto maple st. They do need to do something about the speaker system. Turn it down, point the speakers at the ground, something so it does not carry so far.
Steve February 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Kiss off chuck! I know..... Let's just watch our kids become little crack dealer's for chucks neighbor. Go hug a tree in your back yard and leave the rest of us alone.
Ann Marie February 24, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Wow there are some pretty rude comments about Mr. Osborne on here. Is this the way people act when they read something they do not agree with? Some of you sound like you are in high school. Grow up. Most of what Mr. Osborne says is true. About the rentals he is right on. Some of these landlords will move anything in and it ruins the whole neighborhood. I have seen this firsthand. He is not saying the kids are the reason for the neighborhood problems. He is talking about North Canton in general. Some of you need to get a life. It sounds like it is the adults are the ones that are wanting these lights so bad, not the kids. We walk through the Hoover walking path and in one part of this path you hear the speakers from these fields blasting so loud you can not hear each other speak. Sometimes I think the adults on these speakers are pretending they are an announcer for the Cleveland Indians. With long summer days coming is there really a need for lights on these fields?
jim February 24, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Very well put Ann Marie! Many comments posted here are off topic attacks the messenger. Very interesting what the patch moderator will shut down and what they will let go on here. I have seen comments pulled for much less. Today’s rentals are not what they were in NC years ago. Growing up I saw some NC folk would own a property next door that they rented out and kept up like it was their own home. Now it is big out of town companies operating for the max profit.
George Simon March 27, 2013 at 02:55 AM
I do not agree with Mr. Chuck, however, when I played little league - the fields were spread out over the city at the area schools so as to not burden 1 particular neighborhood with an influx of noise, traffic, lights etc. Little league is an integral important part of this city but we must find a common ground to raise up our children with great values and experiences without harming our neighborhoods. i live near Price Park - we have a ball field with lights etc. From 1 field seeing the lights hearing the cheering is a pleasant part of the neighborhood - from "1 FIELD". I can understand how overwhelming it can be around the East maple ball fields. In addition, these are NC ball fields should not be used for teams outside the city.


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