Cooperstown Youth Baseball announced last week that it has withdrawn it’s application for a special-use permit for a new facility planned on Brooklyn Avenue in both the village and town of Middlefield.

“The opposition from the neighbors was quite clear,” CYB President David Borgstrom wrote in an email to The Crier. “We want to be welcomed and supported in our efforts. This is not the case on the Brooklyn Avenue proposal.” We were sorry to see them abandon the plan.

During a public hearing last month, some neighbors expressed concerns about the impact the field would have on their lives. We realize it is an R1-A district — the most restrictive in the village — but didn’t view the facility as the kind of intrusion some residents did.

The planning board reviewed CYB’s special-use permit application as part of the process and in its usual, thorough manner, came up with 17 conditions it would recommend to mitigate potential impacts to neighbors. Those conditions were apparently not enough to allay the fears that a youth baseball facility would be the ruination of the neighborhood.

“It will interfere with my right to enjoy my home,” former CYB ballplayer and Brooklyn Avenue resident Ben Savoie said during the hearing.

It is difficult to imagine anywhere in the village CYB could locate its new facility. Finding a large enough piece of open ground is one thing and, of course, there’s the zoning law, but it has been perforated so many times by variances that it’s probably not as restrictive as it was once thought to be.

We imagine CYB will have little choice but to look farther and farther from the home of baseball to find its new home.

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