County Commissioners May Hold Off on Soccer Field Decision

Budget hearings kept one commissioner from reviewing traffic and environmental studies

The Concorde Fire Soccer Club may get its wish next Tuesday if the Board of Commissioners vote to defer the club's request for a Special Land Use Permit.

Concorde's attorney Kathy Zickert, said Concorde requested a deferral to further explain to neighbors her client's desire to transform 12 acres of land zoned residential into three soccer fields, a 4,376-square-foot clubhouse and 150 parking spaces, while attempting to address concerns from outraged community members.

Bob Lundsten, chief of staff for Commissioner Elaine Boyer, said Tuesday that it is likely Boyer will vote in favor of the deferral.

"She's been so involved in budget meetings that she hasn't had time to review the traffic or environmental studies on the proposal," Lundsten said. "I can't say for sure how she will vote, but she's extremely aware of the concerns."

On Sunday, dozens of residents in the neighborhoods near the Johnson Ferry Road property gathered at the to express concerns about the proposal. They have for months been vocal about the issues of noise, traffic and the potential negative environmental impact the project could cause due to issues of flooding and tree removal.

Proponents of the plan said the community would benefit from the development while giving the club's players a permanent place to play soccer. According to the club's website, players use fields on Ashford-Dunwoody Road at Nancy Creek, next to , Ridgeview Middle School, Ocee Elementary School, and State Bridge Crossing Elementary School, as well as other North Metro Atlanta locations.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet on the issue on July 26.

Tom Reilly July 21, 2011 at 11:52 AM
I wonder if the other Commissioners somehow "had time" to not only process the new budget but also to review this extremely important [and relatively clear cut] issue??--Tom Reilly
Anthony July 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM
But not only is the neighborhood having an issue. The way I see it, they shouldn't have to build it there, but as you can see, these players need somewhere of their own to play. I know it sucks to go from different fields because when I ran track it was not fun moving al over the place. Of course they should respect the request of the neighborhood but also they support the athletes
Chip Douglas July 21, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Point taken. But do understand that the organization has no secrets where they play and where their fields are. Joining this club is voluntary. You aren't forced to join and should you decide to, you are also committing to the travel. Even if the fields are built here, they will still travel to play some of their games - I think.
Chip Douglas July 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM
How soon we forget. Here is excerpt from an article quoting Gregg Blasingame regarding Marist's proposal to put practice fields in his backyard on West Nancy Creek from a 2009 Crier. “Those fields are used by thousands of kids each year, and they are our first concern,” said Gregg Blasingame, executive director and head coach of the nationally-ranked Concorde Fire soccer club, which shares the fields with the YMCA. “Trying to move through this particular maze quickly is asking too much. Further complicating matters are Marist’s negotiations with neighbors, who prefer the trees buffering their back yards to the athletic fields and parking in the long-range plans. Blasingame, whose home on West Nancy Creek backs up to the area designated for a future athletic practice field, sees the issue from both sides north of the creek. He doesn’t object to having practice fields where he currently enjoys trees, but questions how Marist will protect his home from noise and light pollution. Will there be a public address system? If the school cuts down trees, what will they replace them with to provide a buffer for property."
Chip Douglas August 06, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Ahhhhhh. The smell of sewer gas in the summer. Today, yesterday, and literally for the last couple of weeks on my way home, happily listening to the radio while driving toward Ashford Dunwoody road from Peachtree Dunwoody, I hade the pleasure (by unfortunate circumstance) to get in the line of traffic that was backed up to the highly coveted land Concorde Fire wants to call home. The first mistake was to have my cars air conditioner on the "fresh air" setting. The second mistake was breathing. The sewer smell from the vents directly situated across Nancy Creek from the proposed soccer site is, to put it lightly, putrid. So bad I literally had to cover my nose with my sleeve. 3 days in a row. Perfect air for kids and parents to run around playing soccer to breathe. Gross.


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