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Community Council Votes to Deny Soccer Field Application

The citizens group of district 1 expressed flood, environmental concerns

The District 1 DeKalb County Community Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to recommend the denial of Concord Fire Soccer Club's special land use permit to build a complex off Johnson Ferry Road.

"This is a C-1 business going in our neighborhood," said Jean Brown, a council member. "If the neighbors don’t want them, I think they should move to another location."

The council, which represents Commissioner Elaine Boyer's district, heard from Fielding Park Court resdient Fay Ann Sherris and dozens of resdients who oppose Concorde's pending application for two soccer fields, a one story 2,500 square-foot clubhouse, and 150 parking spaces in a residential district off Johnson Ferry Road.

"Concord fire can find another location," said Sherris who is a spokesperson for the Stop Concorde Fire Soccer group. "There are thousands of acres of cleared land throughout DeKalb County that Concord Fire can aquire."

One such recommendation was the International Village - a diverse neighborhood with a special zoning district in Chamblee where Concord Fire had expressed interest.

Larry Lord, president of the club, said the land is too expensive.

"It’s 28 acres and it costs 20 million dollars," Lord said. That's a little steep for a non-profit soccer club."

Some residents in the community who live near or adjacent to the property, expressed concerns that the new facility would contribute to the already congested traffic along the two-lane road, increase noise, and disturb the environment which they believe are wetlands. Sherris shared posters of photos of her flooded backyard and street congestion as examples of what neighbors fear most about the proposal.

On July 26, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted to defer the application because commissioners said they needed more time to evaluate the studies, which had been hampered by budget hearings.

The next meeting is with the DeKalb County Planning Commission scheduled for Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.

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