SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — The San Rafael Park and Recreation Commission Thursday night again considered a proposal to bring professional baseball to Albert Park next year.

The commission asked for more information after hearing a pitch last month by Dublin-based Centerfield Partners LLC to have a minor league professional baseball team play 45 games in San Rafael.

The commission has three choices: it can approve the proposal and recommend the City Council enter into an agreement with Centerfield Partners, deny the proposal, or ask for more information.

Carlene McCart, director of San Rafael Community Services, has recommended the commission approve the proposal.

McCart consulted with deputy city attorney Eric Davis, Linda Jackson, long-range planning manager in the Community Development Department, Economic Development Coordinator Katie Korzun, and police Lt. David Starnes to prepare her report.

“We were looking for any municipal codes or general plan elements that would preclude us from an agreement. My recommendation accepts the concept. If the concept is approved, the project is subject to further review,” McCart said Thursday afternoon.

At the commission’s meeting last month, Napa attorney Nick Rossi represented six neighbors who have concerns about noise, traffic, sanitary facilities and security.

Opponents say the proposal needs to move through the regular planning approval and environmental review process like any other project.

“The proposal trivializes everything. This is a new development.

Its impact will be monumental,” opponent Brian Gannon said last month.

Under the proposal, the lighted ballpark’s 750-seat grandstand would expand to 1,500 seats. Seating also would be added to the first and third base sides of the field behind existing netting and on the field past the end of the dugouts, with fencing or netting to protect fans and players.
Centerfield Partners also wants to provide a mobile concession stand and several barbecue stands. There is no concession stand at the field now.

McCart’s report states the proposal is consistent with the San Rafael General Plan 2020 and the Albert Park Master Plan.

Noise from the baseball games comply with the city’s noise ordinance and will be maintained at levels that do not negatively impact the community, McCart said.

Fields lighting is already equipped with shields to minimize the impact on surrounding area, McCart said.

The parking plan meets city requirements and will draw attendee parking away from surrounding neighborhoods to more convenient locations across the street from the stadium, McCart’s report states.

“The presence of a professional baseball team in San Rafael will promote the community in many positive ways, and is a welcomed attraction for local business,” McCart said at the conclusion of her report.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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