Chesterton Tribune

New baseball softball practice facility proposed in Liberty Township

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Richard and Carolyn Gandy of Liberty Township are scheduled to appear before the Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals on March 21 to request permission to operate an indoor baseball/softball practice facility for local teams to use in the winter months.

The Gandys’ legal counsel in the matter, Todd Leeth, told the Chesterton Tribune that Richard Gandy hopes to repurpose his warehouse-like building located at 884 N. CR 100W into a new enterprise for youth teams to hold their practices.

If the request for a use variance is successful, Leeth said the owner is looking to set up “three or four” batting cages, a few stations for players to practice their pitching and side rooms where coaches and assistants can go over plays with team members. Coaches would be able to rent the facility for their practices during inclement weather, Leeth said.

The facility, Leeth said, will be strictly for practice and will not be used for tournaments. Its purpose is not to compete with nearby sports venues such as The Courts on U.S. 6 and Porter County’s proposed Brookdale Park, located north of the Liberty Twp. Elementary and Intermediate Schools, which will have baseball/softball and soccer fields.

Leeth said the building, which Gandy formally utilized for his landscaping business, is “only a fraction of the size” of The Courts but did not know the exact square footage.

Phone calls Monday to Gandy for comment were not returned.

The property is zoned in a Light Industrial District (LI) which requires a variance in order for the practice facility to be operated. The request also asks permission for packaged snacks and beverages to be sold on the property.

The case will be heard by the county BZA at its Wednesday, March 21 meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso.

 

Posted 3/12/2012