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Plan To Bring Pro Baseball To San Rafael Gets To 1st Base

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(AP)

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SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – The San Rafael Park and Recreation Commission Thursday night voted to send to the City Council a proposal to bring professional minor league baseball to Albert Park next year.

About 40 people attended the meeting and 15 spoke for and against the proposal, according to Carlene McCart, San Rafael’s community services director.

Dublin-based Centerfield Partners LLC has applied to have a North American League professional baseball team play 45 games between May and September in San Rafael.

Centerfield Partners owns the exclusive Bay Area territorial rights to enter a newly formed team in the league.

McCart recommended that the commission approve the proposal. She said it is consistent with the San Rafael General Plan 2020 and the Albert Park Master Plan.

She said Friday that the baseball proposal is an appropriate use of Albert Park and is in the community’s interest.

The proposal could go before the City Council by late June or early July, McCart said.

The Park and Recreation Commission Thursday night had the options of approving the proposal and recommending the City Council enter into an agreement with Centerfield Partners, denying the proposal, or asking for more information.

The commission had asked for more information about the project in April.

Attorney Nick Rossi represents six neighbors who have concerns about noise, traffic, sanitary facilities and security.

Opponents said 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. The proposal also seeks to serve beer until the seventh inning of games.

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

The field’s lighting is already equipped with shields to minimize the impact on the surrounding area, McCart said in her report.

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, according to McCart’s report.

“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 CBSSan 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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