The Taylar Young Memorial Ballpark at South Anchorage High School, named after a 16-year-old South baseball player killed in a 2009 vehicle accident, is caught up in a permit dispute with its first game scheduled for June.
Young’s father, Dennis Young, says as the South Anchorage Baseball Booster Club’s contractor was working on the final stages of the field this weekend, Turnagain View Estates Homeowners Association President Alex Slivka confronted him with an email saying his permit was no longer valid.
When the contractor refused to leave, Young says Slivka called Anchorage police, who threatened to arrest the contractor if he did not leave.
The Anchorage School District operates the field. Assistant Superintendent Mike Abbott tells Channel 2 he ordered the stipulation after learning the Planning and Zoning Commission had not reviewed the project.
In a statement, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan called the incident a miscommunication.
“It is unfortunate that the agreement between the School District and the Homeowners Association was not communicated by them to the family of Taylar Young and the Memorial Ballpark volunteers,” Sullivan said.
Anchorage Planning and Zoning Director Jerry Weaver tells Channel 2 the Anchorage School District had permits issued by the municipality. While appropriate permits were issued by the Planning and Zoning Commission to complete field improvements, Weaver says permits for the stands, bleachers and concession stand should have gone to Planning and Zoning, not the Urban Design Commission.
Both the city and school district have now agreed to resume construction on Tuesday. Weaver says the Planning Department has authorized the field’s use for its June 22 opening -- but the bleachers, concession stand and scoreboard won’t be usable until a solution is reached.
Weaver says fans will “just have to figure out” where to sit. Booster club members say they will set out plenty of lawn chairs.
Slivka said Monday that a majority of the homeowners association objects to the field’s use for games since it was originally designated as a practice field, and sits directly adjacent to nearby houses.
According to Young, the controversy adds pain to what should be a happy occasion to remember his son.
Email Matthew Simon