And the $12 Million?

As expected, the City Planning Commission, after going through the motions of holding a public hearing last week voted to rezone the Chavez Ravine land for C-2 or commercial purposes.

This far exceeds anything contemplated when the baseball contract was approved by the people. Then it was simply a matter of the city providing the land, with certain improvements by city and county, and the ball club at its own expense would construct thereon a baseball stadium to cost $12,000,000—remember, AT ITS OWN EXPENSE.

The people were repeatedly told that this was the first time in years that a private organization had been willing to build a baseball stadium with its own money.

The main reason given now by our city planners for the extensive commercial zoning, which admittedly will greatly enhance the value of the land, is that the ball club, or its nominee, can then go to local banks and borrow the $12,000,000 for the baseball plant.

In other words, it now seems likely that the club or its nominee will have no investment whatever in the enterprise, but will wind up as sole owners of land and baseball establishment, plus considerable commercial property later to be developed or sold off.

Suggestions that only sufficient rezoning be granted in the form of a conditional use permit to accommodate the baseball operation were brushed aside with the statement that it would be necessary to grant the commercial zoning on all property first, which of course is a new wrinkle to suit the occasion.

The dutiful planning commission, which sternly requires all other applicants for zone changes to establish certain facts such as public necessity, good zoning practice, etc., here required no such findings or proof it required nothing. They did the job they apparently were told to do; they did their best to make the proceedings look reasonable and they added several million dollars to the value of the Chavez Ravine land for its new owners.

But whether they increased their prestige or respect in the eyes of the taxpayers of this city is another question.