Scottsdale officials said Tuesday that deed restrictions placed on the Coronado Golf Course in the 1970s would not prohibit the city from building a baseball training complex on the land for the San Francisco Giants.
Interim City Attorney Brad Woodford’s legal opinion is that "baseball fields fall squarely within the traditional recreation uses appropriate for a park."
The issue arose at a Dec. 9 City Council meeting in which real estate broker Eric Planeta claimed the land could be used only for "open space, park, golf course or playground purposes" for a period of 45 years.
He presented the city with copies of the deeds and a letter from original landowner H.S. Galbraith, who deeded the land to the city in the late 1970s.
Galbraith wrote in a December letter that it was his intention "the golf course would be free of buildings or other improvements, for the benefit of the public."
Buildings, such as administrative offices, snack bars, restrooms, gyms, maintenance facilities and locker rooms, can be incorporated on public park land, Woodford wrote.
"These types of facilities are traditional uses of public parks, like the proposed (Giants) clubhouse," he said. "And all of them are found within existing Scottsdale parks within and adjacent to the Indian Bend Wash."
City officials said they initially reviewed the deed restrictions before the Dec. 9 meeting and believed the constraints would not hinder development of the spring training facility. The opinion was a result of a thorough analysis of the deed restrictions by the city’s legal department, said city spokesman Pat Dodds.
The city wants the $18 million facility on 15 acres at Miller and Thomas roads to include two playing fields, an observation tower, a clubhouse and other training areas.
The council voted Dec. 9 to award a design contract for the site. The city will use those designs to gauge whether the facility can be built on the site and to show area residents how the complex would look.
Planeta, whose company, Odanoroc LLC, owns the clubhouse, driving range and putting green adjacent to the golf course, is critical of the plan. The city wants the eight acres he owns.
Reached Tuesday, Planeta said he would not comment on the city’s opinion.