The Woodstock (Ill.) City Council approved zoning variances that would allow gravel mining on a 240-acre parcel of land, clearing the way for more than 30 acres of land to be used for a new Frontier League ballpark slated to open in 2010.
The plan ties an unpopular gravel pit to a popular ballpark proposal, and the ballpark proposal won out. To be fair, the plan presented by Tom Merryman and his company, Merryman Aggregate Inc. was scaled back in response to community concerns and altered to minimize any damage to the environment. And the end result -- a new ballpark and free land for the McHenry County Fair -- was obviously deemed to be worth the tradeoff, according to city officials.
The approval clears the way for a 2010 ballpark opening. The ballpark will be privately financed by Equity One Sports Developmen; the tentative schedule calls for site prep work in the spring and a June groundbreaking. If a ballpark is not built on the 38-acre site, the land will revert to the county.
More from the Northwest Herald.
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