An Arvada man’s field of dreams has turned into a legal nightmare. As 9NEWS reported last spring, David Brown created a baseball field on his pasture for neighborhood kids to use.
But this year, the bases could remain empty. This is typically the time of year Brown is getting ready for baseball season.
“The boys of summer are back to play America’s game,” Brown said.
He built the field so kids could practice. However, the kids will have to practice elsewhere this time around.
Brown’s across-the-street neighbor, Joe Jehn, filed a complaint with Jefferson County about Brown’s baseball field.
Brown said Jehn, at one time, complained about cars parking in front of his home but that the problem had been fixed.
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Jehn now has private property signs in his front yard. He said his complaint had nothing to do with kids using the field. He told us his problem regarded a lack of respect for his own property, describing dirt from the field that would end up in his yard when the wind would blow.
A court date was set for earlier this month after Jehn filed his complaint. He and the assistant director of the Planning and Zoning department successfully argued against Brown.
A Jefferson County judge ruled the baseball field violated the SR1 zoning ordinance which states the field can be used for residential purposes only, not organized practices. Brown told us he faces a 100 dollar fine each time he violates the ordinance.
Brown also used the baseball field for fundraisers for the Arvada Community Food Bank. In exchange for kids using his field, he would encourage them and their families to make a donation that he would later match.
According to the Jefferson County zoning inspector supervisor, the SR1 ordinance doesn’t allow for organized fundraisers either.
“Over the last two years, according to the [food bank], we are the single-largest donors for a private party to that organization,” he said.
To cap off the end of each baseball season, Brown would host a scrimmage to raise awareness and funds for his cause. Last year, around 6,600 dollars were raised along with 30 boxes of food.
This year, the goal was to raise 10,000 dollars and 50 boxes of food.
“How else can I raise the food and funds without being cited by the county and fined because I’m doing the right thing?” Brown said.
He and his attorney are currently looking into other options to once again use the field for practicing purposes.