The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved a special exception permit allowing Monroe Little League to build a new concession stand at Beardsley Fields at 67 Cross Hill Road at its Thursday night meeting.
"We're very excited that we can offer a great facility for over 500 Little Leaguers, their families and our visitors," Julie Marella, a member of the Monroe Little League Board, said after the decision.
Prior to the vote, Ronald Bunovsky of Monroe spoke in favor of the application.
"Some of my fondest memories were watching my three boys play at Beardsley Fields," he said. "There were legendary coaches, Vito Montelli and John Giampaolo. Be easy on these guys. This is a good thing for everybody. Please support it."
The approval includes conditions:
- Seating must be limited to the fenced in patio
- An existing curb stop must be removed to avoid a tripping hazard
- Pavement must be expanded around handicapped spaces to allow wheelchairs to access the building
- Handicapped spaces must be marked
- Refuse must be removed from the site every day
- Lighting must be shielded
- The permit for the exisiting sign must be transfered for use by the new building
- Trumbull-Monroe Health District approval will be needed before a building permit may be obtained.
The approval includes a $600 performance bond to ensure all of the conditions are met.
The new concession stand will be just under 600-square-feet, with picnic tables in a fenced-in outdoor patio, two handicapped accessible bathrooms and a fundraiser wall with an "M" built with bricks engraved with the names of individuals, families and businesses who helped to make it all happen.
The existing building has no bathrooms (portable toilets are currently used during games) and is block-shaped with a flat roof, while the new one will be L-shaped with a pitched roof with architectural shingles, Hardi Board for the trim and red split face block.
The materials were suggested by the Architectural Review Board to allow the Little League to save money on maintenance costs.
Marella said the Little League initially wanted to renovate the existing building, until they learned what was involved. So the building will be demolished.
Rather than having grills and fryers, Marella said the new concession stand will have a hot dog roller and a warmer for food that will be brought in, including orders of pizza. There will also be sandwiches prepared by Stop & Shop supermarket, according to Marella.
Monroe Little League is still collecting donations needed to build and open the concession stand on time for opening day in the spring. To learn how to buy a brick, donate materials or make a financial donation, visit the Monroe Little League fundraising website, fundraising.monroelittleleague.org.