- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ruled that Dyersville officials acted legally in approving a zoning change for a proposed baseball complex at the “Field of Dreams” movie site.

Residents seeking to block the development of the 24-field youth baseball and softball complex say they’ll appeal the ruling by District Court Judge Thomas Bitter that was made public Monday, the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1FOv0ss ) reported.

“My clients feel very strongly, and I do as well, that the city did not follow the correct process (for the zoning changes),” said Susan Hess, who represents the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee. “We feel so strongly that we plan to appeal to the next level.”

Bitter’s ruling stemmed from a March trial over the council’s decision to rezone the site from an agricultural space to a commercial space, paving the way for the baseball complex. The council approved the rezoning in 2012 and voted again in 2013 to amend that decision to correct an error in the legal description of the property.

Several residents near the site opposed the rezoning and filed the lawsuit. Hess said that the court should overturn the rezoning because members of the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission weren’t impartial and that the rezone was an illegal spot zoning that didn’t fit the area.

Hess added that the council didn’t follow proper procedure to correct the rezone definition, but Bitter found that the city did.

Bitter wrote in his decision that while it was clear that many City Council members saw the baseball complex as a “tremendous opportunity” for the city, he said members kept an open mind and gave “ample opportunity for all voices to be heard.”

“Without question, the decision to rezone the property was fairly debatable, fairly debated and made reasonably,” Bitter wrote.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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