A new indoor multi-sport complex off Glendale Road and Highway 164 is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Town of Waukesha Plan Commission and the town board approved various components of the project during subsequent meetings May 12. The approval, with conditions, of three agenda items related to the project — a rezoning request, a plan of operation and a condominium plat and declaration of condominium document — was unanimous from the town board.
The new facility at S52 W24082 Glendale Road, which can be used for baseball, soccer, lacrosse and golf, was proposed by Five Diamonds Inc. owner Tom Kelenic.
According to planning documents, the building will be about 41,625 square feet and include four baseball fields, 12 batting cages, six offices, a viewing area, conference room and bathroom, mechanical and storage areas. An 84-stall parking lot for the building was also proposed.
Many town residents turned out for the plan commission meeting, which lasted 3.5 hours, to voice their opinion of the project. Several of them were not in favor of the facility, and primarily citing concerns about increased traffic and noise near their homes.
Kelenic said, and repeated at the meeting, that all the activities at the complex would be held indoors.
'No baseball activities or anything else will be done outside the building,' Kelenic said. 'It's all indoor.'
Training facility plan
The three-acre parcel where the facility would be built needed to be rezoned because that land was zoned as an agricultural district, which does not allow for commercial development.
The land was rezoned as a local business district. Commercial recreational facilities are a permitted use of land under that zoning.
The facility is proposed to be built next to a veterinary clinic, commercial kennel and a warehouse that all use the same private driveway off Glendale Road as an access point. The land is owned by Kuenzi Properties LLC.
During a public hearing at the plan commission meeting, some residents said they thought the 40-foot building was too tall and would be an eyesore. Some tweaks to the building's architecture were suggested.
Kelenic said the exterior of the building would be covered in a material called EIFS, a synthetic stucco designed to retain moisture.
According to the plan, the facility would operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and would be staffed by four full-time employees or the part-time equivalent.
A planning report said most of the business for the facility is seasonal — the busiest time is from Nov. 1 to spring — and most of the people using the complex would be children not old enough to drive.
The facility would be geared toward baseball, but would also accommodate other sports such as soccer, golf and lacrosse, Kelenic said.
The new indoor sports complex is not the first Five Diamonds project to generate opposition from town residents.
Five Diamonds also owns the Infinity Fields baseball and softball complex at W234 S3555 Les Paul Parkway. That facility is used by youth leagues and the Catholic Memorial High School baseball team.
NX Level, which runs a sports performance training center for all ages, including professional athletes at W229 N1687 Westwood Drive in Pewaukee, recently opened a training center on the Infinity Fields complex. The second NX Level facility opened in November 2015.
Kelenic and Greg Beatty led the privately funded project as a way to address the lack of baseball fields in Waukesha.
The complex, however, has created a stir in recent years, as neighbors voiced their opposition to the height of the lights, the facility's conditional-use permit, its hours of operation and whether the town should give owners the ability to sell alcohol at the site.
The owners of the complex even looked at one point to annex the site into the city of Waukesha. However, the annexation request was denied in November 2012 after it did not receive two-thirds council approval.