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Iowa court clears way for 'Field of Dreams' baseball complex

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/9/2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Supreme Court ruling Friday cleared the way for a baseball complex at the "Field of Dreams" movie site in Dyersville, as the state's highest court upheld a lower court's decision that the City Council acted properly when it rezoned the property from agricultural to commercial.

The ruling came on an appeal by some Dyersville residents who object to the City Council's decisions in 2012 and 2013 approving the rezoning. The residents sought to block the development of the 24-field All-Star Ballpark Heaven youth baseball and softball complex, fearing the complex would cause disruptions to farm operations and traffic, among other things.

The complex is to be centered on the site were "Field of Dreams," starring Kevin Costner, was shot. The movie was released in 1989 and has been embraced by many people from Iowa, who connected with its story of a farmer who carved a baseball field out of his corn crop.

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.

Neither Hess nor attorneys for the city immediately returned phones messages left Friday seeking comment on the ruling.

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