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County Revises Bluemont Baseball Field Plan in Attempt at Compromise

Revised Bluemont Park baseball field plan

Baseball boosters want a fenced-in field. Neighborhood activists don’t want a fence at all. What’s Arlington County to do to quell the controversy?

Remove a portion of the fence.

That’s the new plan for a soon-to-be-renovated baseball field in Bluemont Park, as laid out in a county staff presentation.

The plan calls for 162 linear feet of fence to be removed along the first and third baselines. The fence will remain elsewhere around the baseball diamond, though its height in the outfield will be reduced from 8 to 4 feet.

The compromise “maintains a level of open access to field” while still bringing the field “up to current standards,” the presentation says.

The presentation notes that the community is “divided between need for upgraded ballfields and need for preserving open and multi-use spaces,” with passionate advocates on both sides.

Baseball supporters say the fence is necessary for safety and for maintaining the integrity of the game, as other park users have a tendency to wander into the middle of youth baseball games. Open space supporters say it’s important for other park users to have a chance to use the field when baseball — a seasonal team sport — is not being played.

The new plan will be presented to a number of county commissions before the County Manager discusses it with the County Board on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

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