New city ballpark proposal angers residents


City of Wichita officials will vote on a proposed plan for the new ballpark in the coming months that includes new parking, but may run some people out of their homes.

If the "Ballpark Village Master Plan" is approved, homes between Sycamore, Texas, Oak and Maple streets may be turned into a parking lot right next to the stadium.

Residents in the area are voicing their frustration, including one who said he has lived there for 10 years and was a season ticket holder for previous teams that played in Lawrence-Dumont stadium before it was demolished.

"We knew it was coming," said Robert Baughman, a resident in the area of the planned parking lots. "But I think they still should have got together with us and say, 'Hey this is what we're going to do. Do you guys have anything against it?'"

Since he's lived there for several years, he said it didn't sit well with him when the plans came to light.

"It makes me very angry at the city," he said. "Then sometimes I wonder well, should I belong here or not."

The plan includes several developments around the stadium including the reconfiguration of streets and sidewalks. The area outlined in green on page 5 of the plan is listed as privately owned property, but in the document it says the area is "intended for future parking and multi-modal transportation", hence where the homes are now, but where they wants to put parking.

"I don't think it should be up to them, I think it should be up to the people that own the houses and stuff," Baughman said.

About a dozen homes sit between these streets. Baughman said he has communicated with his neighbor who lives just down the street and has lived in the area for 23 years. Both of them agree that relocating is not something they want to do.

"He wants to die here," Baughman said "So that's what I'm going by is what he wants to do is my opinion too, I'm too old to move."

His family owns three houses, including his, but he said his brother and sister sold out to a contractor without consulting him. Forcing him to think about a future that he doesn't know where it will take him.

"No I don't," he said. "Not at all."

This proposal has not been approved yet. It will be addressed at the Delano Plan Advisory Committee meeting Tuesday before it is sent to the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission then going to the City Council for a vote in the coming months.