Jenks Baseball Complex Development Moving Forward After Legal Ruling

A large baseball complex development in Jenks is moving forward after a judge ruled in favor of the developer in his lawsuit against leaders of local opposition.

Thursday, November 30th 2023, 6:25 pm

By: Matt Rahn


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A large baseball complex development in Jenks is moving forward after a judge ruled in favor of the developer in his lawsuit against leaders of local opposition.

The suit argued a petition to bring the development to a public vote was misleading.

The goal of that petition was to let Jenks voters themselves approve the development, but after gathering nearly 1,000 signatures, a Tulsa County Judge says the wording on the petition misled those who signed it.

The planned development would bring a baseball complex to the now-empty fields near 106th and Elm. Citizens from the Jenks Coalition for Smart Growth oppose the project and created this petition to bring the decision to voters.

"We called it a large 116-acre commercial enterprise known as the Ripken Experience," said Catherine Lenhart.

She says that description was what the judge found misleading, saying the petition left out information about green space and walking trails.

"The legal experts gave us the wording, understood the issue just as the community did and we felt pretty confident that large commercial enterprise represented what was happening at this site," Lenhart said.

She says the judge’s decision left 933 people without a voice, but developer Duane Phillips says the only reason the petition got so much support was because it misled those who signed it.

"They were telling the citizens misinformation, and that's how they got the signatures," Phillips said.

He says they're working on closing a deal with Ripken Experience. The project would bring 10 baseball fields and a clubhouse along with public playgrounds and walking trails. He says this is not a large commercial development, but added growth in this area is likely.

"To think that this is not going to be commercial in this area is very naive. I mean, this is one of the largest parcels of land still in the city of Jenks; I mean, it's going to be commercial whether I do it or somebody else does it," said Phillips.

He hopes to kick off the project at the beginning of next year.

Leaders from the Coalition for Smart Growth say when they get a detailed order from the judge, they will decide how to move forward.

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