Sunday, July 8, 2012

Countryside feeling the pain of a Sports Complex

In The Roanoke Times article Sunday [Sports clubs float plan for Countryside] Clay Dawson, executive director of Northwest/Wilmont Recreation Club said, “I wouldn’t be a part of something that’s not going to benefit the neighborhood.” Dawson lives in the area but his home is not affected by the Sports Complex.

Dawson’s statement is not necessarily true. Our neighbor’s house is for sale and being older they wanted to move to be with their children in Arizona. They had a buyer. The buyers were coming to their home Sunday to sign a contract and they were paying cash. They called Sunday after reading The Roanoke Times article and seeing the sports complex rendering. They backed out saying “did you know they were putting a sports complex next to you.” This is the second time this has happened to them.

They are angry and so am I. As President of Countryside Neighborhood Alliance what hurts one neighbor hurts us all. Seven damn years of this.

This proves to the council member specifically Court Rosen that soccer fields next to residential does NOT increase the property value and marketability of a home. He made that statement when attending our neighborhood meeting.

We also lost our only young couple with a toddler when their home mortgage exceeded its worth. It sold at auction a few weeks ago. The assessment drop was the last straw for them.

All of council told us how great this will be for our neighborhood … baloney! They said we would be like Colonial Green … baloney! They berated me when I told them at a council meeting that we did not support the Master Plan because of the clause stating it could be amended at any time.

Well let’s just amend it then. Make it a golf course! We cooperated and cooperated and keep getting the shaft. When we supported the Kissito healthcare project council said bring proposals that only fit the master plan.

Yes, bring proposals that fit the master plan UNLESS we the city want to amend it. Do you think we could initiate an amendment? Fat chance.

The renderings are mine that I took to Friday’s planning commission meeting to forestall any statement that “well what other option is there.” That had been reaction from the Planning Department many times before.

So to try and please Miller Court, get tax base for the city AND accommodate Northwest Recreation Center I drew this option. The full size soccer fields DO fit in beside Trane that was once the 2nd golf course fairway. It was measured with the GIS tool.

The Planning Commission was not interested and that was OK. They were perplexed and somewhat agitated that after being directed by council to produce a master plan and spending the better part of a year with neighbors at separate work sessions on their own time they were being asked to amend it before the ink was dry.

I’d wager this is the last time they will spend time at council’s direction to take on such a project.

Added Soccer Fields at 2nd Fairway

12-acre Portland Area option

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

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