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City of Waukesha set to annex Five Diamonds

Common Council will take up action at next meeting

Future site of the Five Diamonds complex off Hwy 59 in the Town of Waukesha.

Future site of the Five Diamonds complex off Hwy 59 in the Town of Waukesha.

Oct. 30, 2012

One relationship could end, while another could begin if the City of Waukesha's Common Council approves the annexation of Five Diamonds from the Town into the City.

The City's Plan Commission voted to recommend the annexation at its meeting last week.

City of Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima said the Council will take action on this item at its meeting Nov. 8 at Waukesha City Hall.

In addition to Five Diamonds, the Plan Commission recommended the annexation of the 3.34 acres west of Milky Way Road and south of Sunset Drive from the Town of Waukesha into the City of Waukesha. Tony and Andrea Bryant bought the property and are looking to turn that into a naturescape children's area.

The Five Diamonds property, located W234 S3555 Les Paul Parkway (Highway 59/164), has 36.62 acres.

Scrima said the Commission also recommended the rezoning of the acres from temporary zoning to park zoning and recommended the amending of the land use plan from residential to park.

While not finalized yet, Scrima said he is looking forward to the potential partnership with Five Diamonds.

"What we're getting here in the amount of green space and common land for the public to use for generations is outstanding," Scrima said. "And all of our communication with them has been positive."

Owners Tom Kelenic and Greg Beatty first proposed the $2 million project that includes youth baseball and softball fields in May 2010. A lack of nearby baseball facilities for the Waukesha Blazers organization was the main reason for building the facility. Catholic Memorial High School also uses the fields.

They broke ground in the summer of 2011, amid concerns from neighbors regarding the lights at the fields. When the facility opened this spring, the problems continued. Town Planner Roger Dupler said at an August Town Board meeting there have been 40 violation complaints of keeping the lights on a half-hour after games and 13 of starting early this summer. No citations were given.

Neighbors said the town needed to strongly enforce the conditional use permit that Kelenic and Beatty agreed upon earlier in the year. They cited in a letter noise and light violations.

Users of the facility, however, said that the neighbors' claims were "petty" and that a facility with countless benefits should not be seen with such backlash. Owners also cited harassment from neighbors for taking videos of children playing if games ran long. The permit said that lights from Monday through Saturday need to be turned off by 9:30 p.m.

Scrima said if the council approves the annexation, the plan commission will then set up a new conditional use permit for Five Diamonds and the Bryants' property.

When asked about how the concerns from neighbors will be different with the city than with the town if the annexation goes through, Scrima said "We are a community with a very well-developed parks system and a very experienced community development staff fully capable of taking this on and look forward in assisting in the development of this family-friendly space.

"The Town has a different process and different requirements than the city," Scrima added. "Five Diamonds ownership and management will understand that they will be required to follow all city regulations."

Scrima added that he is even more excited about this potential development because it goes along with the land that the city now owns that is east of Five Diamonds for future park use.

Town Chairwoman Angie Van Scyoc said annexing the facility from the Town into the City won't be a huge tax loss for town residents.

"I don't see that the issues will change," Van Scyoc said while adding that city residents also had problems with the owners not following the permit. Van Scyoc added that the owners "must think there is something better in the city." She hopes the owners will follow the guidelines and respect their neighbors.

"It's certainly a beautiful place. There's no question about that and as a town, we were proud to be a part of it.," said Van Scyoc.

"We welcomed it into our community, but it's not a loss to the community as it will still be there for children to use and I'm glad about that."

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