Residents voice opposition to proposed recreation area

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 08:42 PM.

Listening to concerns of nearby residents, Havelock commissioners decided to hold off on any decision about a proposed recreation area on Lewis Farm Road during their meeting Monday night.

Residents of Lewis Farm Road as well as nearby Carolina Pines voiced concerns about the proposed park and its impact on traffic, horse stables, the "peaceful" neighborhood and the military.

Meanwhile, some residents spoke in support of the park, saying children and sports leagues need more places to play.

Havelock is considering a cooperative effort to use part of 37 acres off Lewis Farm Road next to Cherry Point to build up to two ball fields that would be run by the city’s recreation department.

The N.C. Coastal Land Trust owns the property but has agreed to turn over the property to the city for the development of the park. The city is considering applying for a $500,000 state recreation grant to pay for construction, which would include the fields, picnic shelters, 100-space parking lot and concession stand. The city would have to come up with $75,000 as its part of the grant.

But the financial equation didn’t bother opponents as much as the impact on nearby neighborhoods.

"Most of the people on the Lewis Farm Road would not be using the sports field," said Edward Lloyd, a resident and owner of Caballo Stables. "The high traffic potential would cause vehicle congestion on an otherwise peaceful, country road. The Carolina Pines intersection has had many wrecks already without the increase in traffic."

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