City planned ball fields and other recreation features at the site

Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM.

The city has not done anything to the property. The land trust is leasing the land to a farmer though December.

As for now, Smith said his department would continue to deal with the tight squeeze on recreation space.

“We’ll have to continue to try and make the most of what we have, which is the rec complex, Sermons Park, Tarheel, Walter B. Jones,” he said. “We do have some money in the budget to bring in some dirt and grass to do some fix-ups down at Walter B. Jones Park. That park gets some heavy usage with the Chili Festival, the circus and the carnival, but at least we’ve got some money to make that park better.

“We’ll just continue to work with our associations and get them to compromise together and find space. We’ll just make the most out of the resources that we have.”

The proposed park produced controversy. While officials from various youth sports leagues said the park was needed because players simply didn’t have enough room for practices and games, residents in the area had others concerns.

Property owners argued that the additional traffic from the nearby fields would hurt their rural lifestyles. It would also hurt the business of a pair of Lewis Farm Road horse stables that rely on the tranquility of the area to draw riders to nearby trails.

Other opponents argued that the city would still have to come up with nearly $76,000 to complete construction of the fields even with the grant and suggested a smaller 15-acre plot on Greenfield Heights Boulevard instead.

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