24-diamond 'Field of Dreams' baseball complex gets go-ahead

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Supreme Court seems to agree with Kevin Costner that there's no better place to play baseball than on fields cut out of the corn.

The court on Friday cleared the way for a 24-field baseball complex at the ''Field of Dreams'' movie site in Dyersville, upholding a lower court's decision that the City Council properly rezoned the property from agricultural to commercial.

The ruling came on an appeal by some Dyersville residents who sought to block the development of the All-Star Ballpark Heaven youth baseball and softball complex, fearing the complex would cause disruptions to surrounding farm operations and traffic, among other things.

The complex is to be centered on the site were ''Field of Dreams,'' starring Costner, was shot. The movie was released in 1989 and has been embraced by people from throughout the country, who connected with its story of a farmer who carved a baseball field out of his corn crop. Thousands of people make the drive down to the small town about 140 miles northeast of Des Moines to run the bases at the baseball diamond and walk out to the cornfields that border the outfield.

An attorney for the residents, Susan Hess, had argued for the courts to overturn the rezoning, saying members of the City Council weren't impartial and acted in a quasi-judicial manner rather than legislative in approving the rezoning.

The Iowa Supreme Court relied on its rulings in previous cases to side with the City Council, saying the council's rezoning decision did not weigh the legal rights of one party versus the other.

''The council weighed all of the information, reports, and comments available to it in order to determine whether rezoning was in the best interest of the city as a whole,'' Justice Bruce Zager wrote.

An attorney for the city, Doug Henry, said the Iowa Supreme Court ruling settles the matter and clears any hurdles to building the baseball complex.

Hess did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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