Adult Facility in the Guise of Youth Use?

Adult leagues should not be part of a Youth Sports Complex.

WHLL has presented this project as a Youth Sports Complex. WHLL has indicated by email that they can’t agree to use the facility for youths only or even predominately for youths.

It would appear that adult use may be a substantial, if not predominate use of the facility.

We believe that this runs contrary to the stated objective of WHLL (“serving youth 4 to 16″), and is an inappropriate use of school district assets. In addition, certain activities, such as property development, property management, and adult sports leagues, may fall outside of the parameters of the exempt purpose of the organization and could result in significant tax consequences.

WHLL is planning to operate 365 days a year from 6 am to 10:30 pm.

WHLL has indicated that the Sports Complex is expected to be open every day of the year, including holidays, and only close for a few hours at night. This schedule is more appropriate for a facility in a commercial area and isn’t appropriate for a site located in a residential neighborhood.

Many people we have spoken to are not aware of the size, scope, and intended use that this sports complex is all about.

The WestLake Neighborhood Alliance(WNA) contacted Chris concerning this project with hopes to agree to use that was truly ‘for the kids’.  We all agree that our kids would benefit from a public park type space with additional baseball and football fields. This complex goes way beyond such and further, appears to be anything but a true public space. In fact, generating revenue from all sorts of different booked activities comes across as one of the high priorities for this space. This is land that we, the tax payers own. This is land that also isn’t even right for this kind of complex and will come with a high cost to the tax payers in the form of required improvements to the road and possibly sewer lift addition are enforced. We the tax paying public will not have public access to this space and have real liability of the infrastructure around this space – and that’s not even getting into all the issues with the site itself in terms of general suitability for this kind of construction to begin with.

Chris Ellis professionally is the principle of Endeavor Realestate Group which is a commercial land developer. He now leads the charge of WHLL respecting this ‘endeavor’ to build this large scale sports complex on River Hills Road.

Regardless of what we hear about this ‘being for the kids’ – Chris makes it very clear that a very large investment would be made in this facility and the intention is to generate as much revenue as possible from as many bookings as possible and with no assurance of predominant youth use. This facility may be for the use of some kids, but its scope and intent are clearly well beyond something ‘for the kids’.

The red text is the reply from Chris on behalf of the WHLL. It is in all caps and complete as he provided it in response to a true ‘for the kids’ use that the WNA had requested

1. Permitted Uses: Activities of the sports complex shall be limited to youth athletics (baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, or swimming).  Participants in any such events must be age 19 or younger.   Adult usage of any facility on the youth sports complex may be allowed if  (1) WHLL, or their sub lessee, is not able to fully utilize the particular facility for youth sports activities due to lack of demand and (2) the total usage by the adults by percentage of playing time is 10% or less for that particular facility. UNFORTUNATELY WHLL CANNOT AGREE TO ANY LIMITATIONS ON THE FACILITIES BEING USED BY “YOUTH’S” ONLY (OR PREDOMINANTLY).  WHLL WILL BE INVESTING SIGNIFICANT DOLLARS IN TO THESE FACILITIES AND IT IS OUR INTENTION TO BOOK THEM AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE AND UTILIZE THEM TO THEIR FULLEST EXTENT.  WHLL IS HAPPY TO LOOK AT A SPECIFIC LIST OF “RESTRICTED USES” THAT YOU MAY HAVE A CONCERN WITH.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE A SPECIFIC LIST OF “RESTRICTED USES” WE WILL REVIEW THEM PROMPTLY AND GET BACK WITH YOU.

This part alone says it all – retyped without the caps and red from Chris Ellis: “Unfortunately WHLL cannot agree to any limitations of the facilities being used by “youth’s” only (or predominantly). WHLL will be investigating significant dollars into these facilities in to these facilities and it is our intention to book them as often as possible and to utilize them to their fullest extent.”

This project is intended to be funded by donations raised by WHLL by/and in the community. It is an investment the community would be making, yet when you read this, doesn’t sound like that’s how they see it. You can be the judge of what this development is really for and all about.


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