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cityboi

Stadium Fight continues in Greensboro

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I will be redesigning the format of my ballpark website as well as trying to get a unique domain name for the website instead of using sub domains with tripod. The site will become the official campaign site for proponents of the future downtown ballpark. The ballpark should get built despite who wins in the votes for October because the stadium is being built under current zoning laws that allows stadiums in the central business district but its important for the proponents to have a campaign to win at the polls so advertisers will see that Greensboro supports the building of a privately funded stadium in the central business district. Iv'e actually got the new site format done but I wont reveal it until its upload to the new domain name.

Personally I think after all this stadium stuff is over, there needs to be ammendments to the city's charter which would prevent people from using "ballot box" zoning to take advantage of the system and basically highjacking the city's progess. I can bet you something will be done about that. Its amazing that the opponents campaign has been so deceptive, that some people are fight the new downtown stadium and they really don't know why they are fighting it. It certainly is interesting that a few of the stadiums most well known opponents are now running for city council. Could the stadium issue be a big ploy to gain free publicity for these candidates? The timing is just interesting.

Referendum on stadium will proceed

8-23-03

By MARK BINKER, Staff Writer

News & Record

GREENSBORO -- Voters should decide whether stadiums ought to be allowed in downtown Greensboro, a superior court judge has ruled.

A group of downtown business owners sued in April to stop the October referendum that is designed to halt construction of a new stadium for the Greensboro Bats, the city's minor league baseball team. Led by the Bats and developer Milton Kern, the group argued that voters had been duped into signing petitions that forced the referendum.

But in a tersely phrased 173-word opinion, Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson dismissed the lawsuit, writing that both the city and the group that circulated petitions to force the referendum had complied with the law.

Donald C. Moore, the Bats' general manager, said that "we still feel the petition was nonsense," but added that his group would not appeal.

"We're just going to have to go and win the referendum," Moore said. "What's at stake here is not a vote on a baseball stadium, what's at stake is the future of this town. If the citizens want half-a-dozen naysayers running it, then we're in big trouble."

Bowen Houff, a lawyer for the stadium opponents who pushed for the referendum, called Wilson's ruling "good news for the residents of the city. It allows them to vote."

Assistant City Attorney Terry Wood said that the order "speaks for itself" and that his office had no comment on it. The city and city clerk were the main defendants in the case because the referendum was activated using the city charter.

Baseball-related issues have become a perennial sore spot for Greensboro voters. In 1996, voters rejected plans to spend $2 million in tax money to rehabilitate 77-year-old War Memorial Stadium, the Bats' current home. In 1998, Greensboro residents helped reject a bid to attract a major league team to Kernersville.

The latest baseball controversy began last August when plans for a new stadium at Bellemeade and Eugene streets were announced by Action Greensboro, a group of nonprofits and downtown business interests.

The Bryan Foundation and its subsidiary, Downtown Greensboro Renaissance, have taken the lead on the project by forging a deal with the Guilford County government, which owns the proposed stadium location. In exchange for the county's old social service complex on Bellemeade Street and $4.5 million in tax dollars, the foundation agreed to build a new social service complex on Maple Street in East Greensboro.

A new stadium, Action Greensboro officials said, will be an economic boon to the city. It is part of a larger effort to revive the city's flagging economy and draw new businesses and customers to downtown Greensboro.

Construction on the new social service building is under way, and the city has issued a building permit for the new stadium.

Almost immediately after details of the plan came to light, a core group of opponents now known as the Petitioners Committee for Downtown Neighborhoods formed. Some objected to the deal's economics. Others argued that War Memorial Stadium should continue to be the Bats' home. Others worried that a new stadium will bring noise, traffic and other problems to nearby neighborhoods.

To stop the stadium, the committee used a city charter provision that allows residents to sign petitions that will force the City Council to consider a new ordinance. The campaign was billed as an effort to save War Memorial Stadium, and the petition's introduction read: "The citizens of Greensboro should be allowed to decide if they want a downtown baseball (stadium) or a rehabilitated (sic) War Memorial Stadium."

But the introduction did not explain that the complex legal language in the petition proposed an ordinance that bans stadiums in the city's central business district, what most people would call downtown. If successful, the referendum might block construction of the new stadium but would do nothing for War Memorial Stadium.

But if new stadiums are banned, the opponents reason, the Bats and the city would be forced to rehabilitate War Memorial.

Lawyer Steve Pharr, who represented the downtown business owners, said all of that ought to have been spelled out for those who signed the petition. Pharr said Friday that those who circulated the petition were able to mislead people using what amounted to a "loophole" in the charter that the City Council ought to consider closing.

Once opponents had gathered the needed signatures, the City Council had a chance to pass the ordinance. However, on Feb. 4 the council unanimously rejected the measure. The city charter requires a city-wide vote when the council rejects an ordinance brought by petition. That referendum will take place on Oct. 7, along with the primary for City Council races.

A "yes" vote on the referendum would be a vote against the new stadium. A "no" vote would allow the stadium to proceed.

"I am absolutely confident that the citizens of Greensboro will support our efforts," said Bill Burckley, a former City Council member who is running again this year and who has led the anti-stadium effort.

However, it is unclear what - if any - effect the referendum will have on the stadium project. Lawyers for Action Greensboro argue that so much work has been completed related to the stadium project that it can't be stopped. But opponents argue that the potential challenge existed before that work began.

This was not the first lawsuit related to the stadium. In one case, stadium opponents challenged the city's decision to close Lindsay Street to make way for the stadium. In a second case, they challenged a city Board of Adjustment ruling that stadiums were allowed to operate downtown.

Stadium opponents lost both those cases but have appealed the Board of Adjustment case to the state Court of Appeals. Contact Mark Binker at 373-7023,

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I sure will monsoon. I think you'll find the site easier to maneuver through and it will look a little bit more professional. I'm not a professional web designer but i'm learning as I go and each time I make major revisions, I get a little better.

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I will be redesigning the format of my ballpark website as well as trying to get a unique domain name for the website instead of using sub domains with tripod. The site will become the official campaign site for proponents of the future downtown ballpark. The ballpark should get built despite who wins in the votes for October because the stadium is being built under current zoning laws that allows stadiums in the central business district but its important for the proponents to have a campaign to win at the polls so advertisers will see that Greensboro supports the building of a privately funded stadium in the central business district. Iv'e actually got the new site format done but I wont reveal it until its upload to the new domain name.

Personally I think after all this stadium stuff is over, there needs to be ammendments to the city's charter which would prevent people from using "ballot box" zoning to take advantage of the system and basically highjacking the city's progess. I can bet you something will be done about that. Its amazing that the opponents campaign has been so deceptive, that some people are fight the new downtown stadium and they really don't know why they are fighting it. It certainly is interesting that a few of the stadiums most well known opponents are now running for city council. Could the stadium issue be a big ploy to gain free publicity for these candidates? The timing is just interesting.

Referendum on stadium will proceed

8-23-03

By MARK BINKER, Staff Writer

News & Record

GREENSBORO -- Voters should decide whether stadiums ought to be allowed in downtown Greensboro, a superior court judge has ruled.

A group of downtown business owners sued in April to stop the October referendum that is designed to halt construction of a new stadium for the Greensboro Bats, the city's minor league baseball team. Led by the Bats and developer Milton Kern, the group argued that voters had been duped into signing petitions that forced the referendum.

But in a tersely phrased 173-word opinion, Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson dismissed the lawsuit, writing that both the city and the group that circulated petitions to force the referendum had complied with the law.

Donald C. Moore, the Bats' general manager, said that "we still feel the petition was nonsense," but added that his group would not appeal.

"We're just going to have to go and win the referendum," Moore said. "What's at stake here is not a vote on a baseball stadium, what's at stake is the future of this town. If the citizens want half-a-dozen naysayers running it, then we're in big trouble."

Bowen Houff, a lawyer for the stadium opponents who pushed for the referendum, called Wilson's ruling "good news for the residents of the city. It allows them to vote."

Assistant City Attorney Terry Wood said that the order "speaks for itself" and that his office had no comment on it. The city and city clerk were the main defendants in the case because the referendum was activated using the city charter.

Baseball-related issues have become a perennial sore spot for Greensboro voters. In 1996, voters rejected plans to spend $2 million in tax money to rehabilitate 77-year-old War Memorial Stadium, the Bats' current home. In 1998, Greensboro residents helped reject a bid to attract a major league team to Kernersville.

The latest baseball controversy began last August when plans for a new stadium at Bellemeade and Eugene streets were announced by Action Greensboro, a group of nonprofits and downtown business interests.

The Bryan Foundation and its subsidiary, Downtown Greensboro Renaissance, have taken the lead on the project by forging a deal with the Guilford County government, which owns the proposed stadium location. In exchange for the county's old social service complex on Bellemeade Street and $4.5 million in tax dollars, the foundation agreed to build a new social service complex on Maple Street in East Greensboro.

A new stadium, Action Greensboro officials said, will be an economic boon to the city. It is part of a larger effort to revive the city's flagging economy and draw new businesses and customers to downtown Greensboro.

Construction on the new social service building is under way, and the city has issued a building permit for the new stadium.

Almost immediately after details of the plan came to light, a core group of opponents now known as the Petitioners Committee for Downtown Neighborhoods formed. Some objected to the deal's economics. Others argued that War Memorial Stadium should continue to be the Bats' home. Others worried that a new stadium will bring noise, traffic and other problems to nearby neighborhoods.

To stop the stadium, the committee used a city charter provision that allows residents to sign petitions that will force the City Council to consider a new ordinance. The campaign was billed as an effort to save War Memorial Stadium, and the petition's introduction read: "The citizens of Greensboro should be allowed to decide if they want a downtown baseball (stadium) or a rehabilitated (sic) War Memorial Stadium."

But the introduction did not explain that the complex legal language in the petition proposed an ordinance that bans stadiums in the city's central business district, what most people would call downtown. If successful, the referendum might block construction of the new stadium but would do nothing for War Memorial Stadium.

But if new stadiums are banned, the opponents reason, the Bats and the city would be forced to rehabilitate War Memorial.

Lawyer Steve Pharr, who represented the downtown business owners, said all of that ought to have been spelled out for those who signed the petition. Pharr said Friday that those who circulated the petition were able to mislead people using what amounted to a "loophole" in the charter that the City Council ought to consider closing.

Once opponents had gathered the needed signatures, the City Council had a chance to pass the ordinance. However, on Feb. 4 the council unanimously rejected the measure. The city charter requires a city-wide vote when the council rejects an ordinance brought by petition. That referendum will take place on Oct. 7, along with the primary for City Council races.

A "yes" vote on the referendum would be a vote against the new stadium. A "no" vote would allow the stadium to proceed.

"I am absolutely confident that the citizens of Greensboro will support our efforts," said Bill Burckley, a former City Council member who is running again this year and who has led the anti-stadium effort.

However, it is unclear what - if any - effect the referendum will have on the stadium project. Lawyers for Action Greensboro argue that so much work has been completed related to the stadium project that it can't be stopped. But opponents argue that the potential challenge existed before that work began.

This was not the first lawsuit related to the stadium. In one case, stadium opponents challenged the city's decision to close Lindsay Street to make way for the stadium. In a second case, they challenged a city Board of Adjustment ruling that stadiums were allowed to operate downtown.

Stadium opponents lost both those cases but have appealed the Board of Adjustment case to the state Court of Appeals. Contact Mark Binker at 373-7023,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well guess who won? LOL

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