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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

NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL

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.

Holly Pierpont February 05, 2013 at 06:48 PM
So what was the outcome of the council meeting last night?
Morgan Day (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Holly, I am working on an update on the Little League lights right now. But in the meantime I can tell you the residents were split down the middle in terms of being for and against it. Council President Jon Snyder asked that the Little League officials submit a formal rundown of when the lights will be used, along with other details about the lights. He asked that they get this to him in a week, and council will move forward from there.
Dave S February 06, 2013 at 11:58 AM
I think Chuck just needs to "go away"!
Todd Evans February 06, 2013 at 06:12 PM
As a coach at North Canton Little League since 2008, it is hard for me to believe that there are individuals who do not understand what a nice complex we have and the important role that little league plays in not only proving youngsters a chance to have fun in a team setting, but also learn the lessons from playing team sports. There are hundreds of kids who get to play Little League with their classmates forming lifetime memories. Although we have a great complex, it would be even better with lights. I have coached fall basebal since 2008 and it is difficult getting games in as we continue to lose light in the fall. We are lucky to get in 3 to 4 innings as the season goes on. We have played at Green's complex and the best thing about their complex is the lights. Kids enjoy the opportunity to play under the lights now and then. I don't understand how this would affect the so-called peace and serenity of North Canton neighborhoods. I currently moved to Farrell Street to be closer to the ball fields, not farer away. Those who view little league activities as an unwanted intrusion obviously do not have the best interest of our youth in mind. I know one thing; I will never see Little League as "an unwanted intrusion" even as my children (and hopefully someday grandchildren) are done with their playing days. In 2013, where most kids just want to get home to play their X-boxes, let them play baseball as much as they want including when the sun goes down. Todd Evans
Kyla February 06, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Well said Todd!!!! My oldest son is 14 and has played w/ the NCLL since he was 6 years old!! I have twin boys who will be rookies soon. It's just lights!!!! What about the football stadium w/ all it's lights and commotion that goes on till 10-11pm?? Should we only play football during daylight, or is it ok because it's Football?? Chuck maybe you should move out to the country on 40acres then you will not be bothered. Do you have, or had a son that plays baseball??
Voice of Reason February 06, 2013 at 07:10 PM
It sounds to me like the writer needs to move to a nursing home. Trashing people who create rental properties is dispicable. Would you rather it become an abandoned crack/whore house? I used to live there..it needs more help. You should be ashamed of yourself! You think you have the right to DEMAND fixes? You need to realize that you have become a grumpy old man and you might just be better moving south where it's warm. Or..is part of the problem that the economy has tanked your house value and now your stuck? Guess what? You live in an area that used to thrive because of the industry that was there. It's gone! Rather than bitch about things, why not offer solutions? What an ASS!
cathy s February 06, 2013 at 07:55 PM
yes Chuck needs to move to Washington, where they need people full of themselves. Ugh. Always more crap in North Canton government given by this one man
Diane February 06, 2013 at 08:18 PM
The title of this blog should read "North Canton Children Under Attack." Chuck, our kids aren't the reason for the meth house and arson in your neighborhood. Shame on you for combining those issues in with this one. What is your real motivation since you are not within earshot of these fields?
Julie February 07, 2013 at 12:25 PM
The only thing under attack in NC is the citizens who have to listen to the hot air coming out of Chuckie poos mouth.
Kyle Young February 07, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I have grown up in north canton my whole life. Playing in the ncll helped me get my college scholarship in baseball. It thought me the love the game. It was the first sport I played since you can play at such a young age. Adding lights is a good thing it opens the door for much more for north canton. Hosting state tournaments where teams will come all over the state spend money at local restaurants spend money at gas stations spend money at hotels. Why should we let another community take advantage of this opportunity. Another thing is safety this gives the kids a chance to not have to worry about running out of light and risk of a ball hitting them. Lastly it will allow ganes to start a little bit later so dads dont have to leave work early or take sick days to help coach their kids. It makes more time for family The traffic issue that's a good thing That means kids are out playing, being part of a team learning to work together, learning lessons that will help with them the rest of theirs lives. They aren't sitting at home playing video games. I am thankful the opportunity to play for the little league and hope that people understand its for kids to better their future and to help the community so the kids can achieve great things in the future that will keep this community as special as it is Kyle Young Class of 1998
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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