The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 1st

County OKs Land for Soccer, Leisure

The commissioners approved the use of a Hillsborough field for the Maple View Farm Soccer Field, assuming that development costs are given the go-ahead.

Carrboro Board of Aldermen member and Chairwoman of the Committee for Soccer Fields Diana McDuffee presented the commissioners with a proposal to use land on Maple View Farm for a soccer park.

The board will now have to decide whether to provide half of the $60,000 development cost and return to a local soccer task force with its decision before field development can begin.

The farm, located on Dairyland Road, is owned by Orange County resident Bob Nutter.

Nutter recently approached county officials with an offer to lease the land for 10 years at a dollar a year after learning about a neighbor who was forced to travel to Cedar Grove in northwestern Orange County to play soccer.

"I had a piece of field, and I thought it would be a good place for kids to play," Nutter said.

"Cedar Grove is 30 minutes away, and that's too far for kids to have to go to play soccer."

As of summer 2000, the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department had only one full-size soccer field available for use.

For the last year Orange County's Soccer Symposium Task Force has been working with local soccer programs to develop a plan for a new field, McDuffee said.

McDuffee said parents in Orange County have to drive great distances to get their children to soccer practices and games.

Because of the sport's growing popularity in the area, the lack of fields is becoming a larger concern.

"We should provide fields and facilities for soccer to take place," McDuffee said.

Another piece of land proposed for recreational use is the McGowan Creek Preserve, a 63-acre land tract located west of Hillsborough on Interstate 70.

Commissioners hope the two areas will provide Orange County residents with additional recreation facilities.

Orange County Land Conservation Manager Rich Shaw said the preserve would be a great place for residents of the county to come and enjoy but that it needs an entranceway and turning lane off I-70 for better accessibility.

Shaw also said trails, picnic tables and parking lots for visitors should be put in the preserve.

Commissioner Barry Jacobs said he thinks security telephones should be on the property and that anyone who is using the land for reasons other than leisure should be supervised.

Commissioner Stephen Halkiotis also voiced concern about the supervision of the land.

"I think the sheriff's department should patrol the area and make a drive-through in the evening, checking the security gate," he said.

With the recommendations taken into account, the board approved the land for public use and will continue to stay in contact with the N.C. Department of Transportation concerning an entranceway and turning lane.

There is a possibility the preserve will be open to the public in the fall, Shaw said.

"We look forward to getting the land ready for the public to use."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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