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Neighbor sues over PeeWee ball field

Drew Wilfong, 8, winds up to throw a baseball at the PeeWees practice field in Central Valley. A handful of kids, members of the Silverdale Mustang-level “Reds,” were out practicing Thursday. Neighbor Mahlon Wixson’s home can be seen in background at the right. Wixson is filing suit to shut down the field. - Photo by Kelly Everett
Drew Wilfong, 8, winds up to throw a baseball at the PeeWees practice field in Central Valley. A handful of kids, members of the Silverdale Mustang-level “Reds,” were out practicing Thursday. Neighbor Mahlon Wixson’s home can be seen in background at the right. Wixson is filing suit to shut down the field.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

Neighbor Mahlon Wixson has filed suit over the new PeeWee ball field in Central Valley, northeast of Silverdale.

Wixson said he was reluctant to talk about it, and would rather the attorneys “settle” things in court. He wanted a “judicial review.” His attorney is Thomas Bjorgen of Bjorgen Bauer, Attorneys at Law, Olympia.

Wixson’s home is just south of the ball field on the west side of Central Valley Road. He was one of the first to complain to the county about the then-unpermitted project, built last summer.

Ron Ross, who built the ball fields along with brother, Pete, also declined to comment. He would only confirm that Wixson had filed suit. His attorney is Bill Broughton of Broughton and Associates, Silverdale.

“We’re really representing the Silverdale PeeWee Association,” said Broughton. “The PeeWees would be the ones most harmed by this suit.”

The suit’s title, however, doesn’t mention the PeeWees. Filed recently in Superior Court, the suit is entitled “Mahlon Wixson vs. Kitsap County ..., Ron Ross, Royal Valley LLC, and Don and Pat Nyswonger.”

The suit challenges county commissioners for OKing the hearing examiner’s decision late last year, to grant Ross and Royal Valley (owned by John O’Donnell of Seattle) the right to construct the ballfield.

Wixson charges in the suit:

l That little or “no screening is present between the proposed ball field and (Wixson’s) residence.”

l PeeWees will use the ball field for practice, April 1-June 15; weekdays 4:30-8 p.m.; Saturdays at various times. Practice games would involve about 15 kids, plus coaches and parents.

l The field would not be restricted to PeeWees, but would likely be opened up to other youth groups through the year. The owners allegedly want to double the number of fields if they can find adequate parking.

l The owners allegedly want to make the ball field an extension of an already existing park.

l The “noise” would “disturb (Wixson’s) quiet repose and deprive him of reasonable use and enjoyment of his property.” Wixson would be “directly aggrieved and prejudiced by the noise, intrusion, and loss of privacy.”

l Children and adults using the field would be able to “see directly into (Wixson’s) yard and home.” There’s no barrier to control trespassing. “Some balls hit during practices are likely to reach (Wixson’s) property.”

l Others will be harmed in the neighborhood.

l The ball field is not compatible with land use in the area.

l The county’s allowance of the ball field is “a clearly erroneous application of the law.”

l The ballfield is too close to Hoot Creek, a salmon tributary. A habitat management plan should have been required.

l Traffic and parking would also pose problems, with traffic traveling too fast on Central Valley Road and parking congested along Paulson. An existing convenience store would allegedly attract kids to cross a dangerous intersection.

Concluding, Wixson and his attorney want commissioners to reverse their decision, quash the project, and close the ball field.

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