City officials say the project will help manage storm water and help prevent street flooding during the rainy season around Roosevelt Park. The city says the project will remove 10 trees from the park and part of the walking path along Bronson Avenue so that an underground basin can be put in to capture storm water.
Neighbors and parkgoers are upset about the loss of trees, but they're also upset about what the city has proposed to put on top of the basin -- two baseball fields.
Neighbors say the baseball fields will bring in a lot of traffic and cause parking concerns.
"We do have back street parking, one space. So if anyone wants to come visit, forget it," said neighbor Kris Reynolds, who has lived in the area for four years. "Not on Saturdays when soccer is there, youth football is here, it's a mad house, absolute mad house. There is not one single bit of parking along this area."
They say they're afraid nightly games and practices will make parking on the street impossible.
"Lots of traffic, noise, and we have more traffic now then we used to have so it would be impacted by the activity that goes along with it," said neighbor Marion Zoodsma, who has lived in the area since 1965.
The city says the baseball fields are just part of a concept drawing for the park renovation, and they are not tied to the idea. They would like to get neighborhood reaction and help with planning from those who use the park.
"If it's going to solve flooding, it's a good thing, but the trade off for all the traffic is not good," Reynolds said. "Ah, it's so hard to decide because I am for youth sports so much."