If you build it, San Francisco suburb will want it torn down

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May 19, 2006
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Aug. 29, 2007, 8:02PM

Associated Press

DANVILLE, Calif. — Even a field of dreams needs a permit.

Town officials in this posh San Francisco suburb voted unanimously Tuesday to order David Lowe to tear down an 18,000-square-foot Little League practice field he built for his son.

The private equity investor spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building the field — complete with Astroturf, a batting cage and motorized pitching machine — on a prominent ridge. He said he did it because he couldn't attend his 11-year-old son's regular afternoon Little League practices, but still wanted to find a way to coach the team.

Neighbors in the multimillion-dollar housing development below the ridge have compared the ball field to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay because of its highly visible 14-foot fence.

Lowe's offers to lower the fence and landscape the hillside to hide the field from view did not placate neighbors or officials in the town, which strictly regulates ridgeline development. His belated application to obtain the permits was denied by Danville planning commissioners in a 7-0 vote.

"This was done in serious disregard of the neighbors and serious disregard of the town of Danville, its zoning permits and ordinances," Commissioner Bib Nichols said.

If you build it, San Francisco suburb will want it torn down | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle


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