For the Record, the Hillsboro Hop’s new stadium is not a done deal. The public record is still wide open, and anyone can testify. That means any of you who wish to weigh in still have time. The new 120 Million dollar stadium applicant is the City of Hillsboro, not the Hillsboro Hops. The City is applying to itself and deciding for itself if it can go outside the lines, make a number of exemptions for noise, height limitations, and traffic, and give itself approval. Once approved, the City of Hillsboro will rip out three of the 6 fields at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex and give the land to the Hillsboro Hops on a lease to own and operate a new baseball stadium and rock concert facility. Oh, and we will not make the team pay for any of the costs the taxpayers will have to pay to replace the lost fields/ Lastly, don’t forget about the 18 MIllion plus of hotel tax we are giving the Hops; I almost forgot that.
The next hearing is August 16th before the Hillsboro Planning and Zoning Hearings Board. That will be at 6:30 PN at City Hall, and all the information is right here: https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/114511/20
To testify show up at the hearing or send in a letter or testimony via email to: Ruth Klein- City of Hillsboro Planning Staff. Ruth.Klein@hillsboro-oregon.gov
Reference: Request for Conditional Use Approval for a Major Assembly Facility
Case File No. CU-003-23 Hillsboro Hops Ballpark
NEW LOSS OF USE REPORT IS OUT
Ok, I just read the 138-page report just issued by the City of Hillsboro regarding the studies and conclusions about how the City can build the new Hops Stadium, rip out 3 of our most used softball and baseball fields, and minimize the loss of use. The loss of these fields has sent shock waves throughout the Parks and Rec community, the softball and baseball ranks, and beyond. Tearing out fields that the people of Hillsboro and Washington County rely upon for their recreation for a new stadium that is not needed has made the stink factor on this whole deal higher than the Elephant Garlic Festival in North Plains (which is this weekend by the way).
This report looks at how and where the 3 lost fields can be replaced. It slugs out the issues and shows lots of charts. In the end these three fields were going to be put at with Brown Junior High School or on the existing Gordon Faber Complex by tearing our come wetlands and marginal areas and squeezing two or three more fields in. The conclusion has been made and here it is:
There are a lot of what-ifs. But after months of asking about this, the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Commission and others know what the target is. The entire report is available right here with all the maps, photos, and exhibits:
Guess who is paying for these new fields at Gordon Faber? We are – the people of Hillsboro. People laughed when I said replacing the 3 fields would be $30 Million. Guess what, the big guy was right on the money. Here is the report (red link above), and the two fields, assuming they are grass and not turf, are coming in at over at $20,000,000.
Look at the language at the end of the screenshot above from pages 12-13 of the report. The City analysts are warning us and the City Council that the Hops programming (games/concerts) may create a situation where we can not use the Gordon Faber Complex on many days. The City, at the last hearing, asked for permission to allow the Hops 32 days of the year where they can exceed the 7,000 participant limit required by city codes. No one else will likely be allowed to use any space at the GFRC on those days.
Overarching all that information is the section in the report’s preface in which the staff who wrote the report admits that we may not have the money to make this loss of use work and that it will take one to three years to do the job. There are also environmental issues and constraints. Great report with significant details that were needed before this process began. A dire warning that we may end up with no loss of use solutions at all unless conditions are put into place that mandate them as a part of any approval.
Before I end this report, followed by what comes next in a new story, I want to take you back to one of our first stories on this debacle. Look below. The City went out of the gate early this year and used these numbers to get the City Council to approve, without the consultation of the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Commission, the fact that we can not remodel the current Hops stadium because it is just way too much more money. Unilaterally in a rare move that clearly favored the Hillsboro Hops, who want to host rock concerts 30-plus times a year, the council went into executive session and approved building a new stadium and ripping out the existing fields; a move that has fractured relationships in our City and pushed the baseball and softball community away. However, the chart below shows that the New Stadium was estimated to be $120,000,000, but that number did not include the Loss of Use. So here we are – today – just a few days before a final approval, being told that the loss of use is now thought to be between $20-30 Million Dollars. We know now that the true cost of the new stadium is $140,000,000 to $160,000,000 more or less- probably more because the public may lose the use of these fields for 2 to 3 years, and as of right now, there is no way to pay for them.
Bottom line? There should be NO NEW STADIUM- it is a boondoggle, and even many season ticket holders believe this is to much. We can all LOVE the Hops and not fall into this pit. Period.
What do you think? Weigh in below in the comments section!