The city’s draft master plan outlines not only building a baseball stadium at Harbor Point, but relocating Greenman Estates and its baseball and softball fields from Burrstone Road near Utica College.. . .Query: Where did this idea originate?
It also says the space where Donovan Stadium currently sits at Murnane Field in South Utica could become a business park.
It is eerily similar to what Oneida County did when it moved its airport from Whitestown to Rome. Could the same people have been involved? The M.O. seems to be "Let's spend taxpayer money (hopefully grant money) duplicating what we already have someplace else." While there might be some merit to clustering the ball fields on the flats, is it really worth the cost of the duplication and the disruption of what currently exists?
While the OD article implies that the Harbor Point site can only be used for ball fields, was there any study of this? Only residential use is restricted, which leaves a host of other possible uses. This site was blogged about in 2008. As you can see from the picture, the site has a "million dollar view" of downtown, and connecting Washington St. with Washington St. (NOT Seneca St. as proposed -- the two parts of Wash. St. are seen at right.) would give a strong visual connection with the heart of downtown ... essentially making Harbor Point part of downtown. This would suggest that Harbor Point might support uses that are much higher than ball-fields . . . such as a "downtown" office park with plenty of parking and a waterfront promenade!
Both Murnane Field/Donovan Stadium and Greenman Estates are part of the Utica Parks System and are located on Burrstone Road, which is an extension of the Memorial Parkway. Eliminating both of these parks would seem to lessen the value of the Parkway itself as the "string" holding together Utica's "emerald necklace" of park lands (to borrow an idea from the Greater Boston area that was the inspiration of Utica's own park system).
It is common knowledge that Greenman Estates is under a deed restriction that prevents any use other than recreational for the Burrstone Road site. Did any one tell the Master Plan drafters about it?
The Utica Business Park is half empty, the Bosert site is vacant, the Bendix site is vacant, and the Psych Center is half empty. These places are all within a mile of either Murnane or Greenman, so the need for a "business park" at either location is questionable.
Could the location of Greenman Estates being across the street from Utica Collage and Murnane Field being across the Street from Faxton Hospital have anything to do with this proposal? The genesis of this proposal is so shrouded that we are entitled to speculate.
Do the people of Utica want to give up their parks?
Is the Master Plan the "people's plan" . . . or just more of the same nonsense from the same well-connected people who have been running the area into the ground for decades?