SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015, 12:31 AM
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS
Old plans could present solution for Schedler
To the Editor:
There can be a sensible alternative to construction of a 90-foot baseball/multiuse field in a heavily wooded area on the Schedler property, and with little cost to the sports groups or the village. There is an existing 80-foot field at Pleasant Park that can be expanded to 90 feet. An existing plan, before the purchase of Schedler, might well be a solution.
In fact, both Veteran’s Field and the Pleasant Field were slated to become 90-foot fields as replacements when the field at Benjamin Franklin Middle School was turned into a track. A 2007-08 report on our Parks and Facilities by Schoor-DePalma-CMX (“Comprehensive Parks, Facilities and Recreation Plan”), paid for by the village, was presented to the council in 2008 recommending that the 80-foot existing baseball field at Pleasant Park be expanded, as well as Veteran’s Field, which now has a 90-foot field.
Of course, this report was written before the Schedler property was purchased.
After Schedler was purchased, the Pleasant Park extension was discarded. Reasons for the change by the village were soil conditions, objections by neighbors, permits from the DEP, etc. But no studies were ever done, and to my knowledge, no correspondence with the state.
The Pleasant Park neighbors are right to be concerned that a 90-foot field brings lights, noise, and traffic that could disrupt the Lawns neighborhood. But why are their concerns more important to the town than the residents on the east side.
Why not revive the idea of adding just a few feet to the existing 80-foot field at Pleasant with the following restrictions: no lights, no turf, and strict penalties for loud and disturbing behavior. As long as the players and fans play by the rules, the neighbors should be glad to help out. We would balance the loss of less than an acre of trees versus over 5 acres of trees at Schedler.
Sure, it would be nice to go across town to an area of east side residents near the Schedler property, put up a field, put in over 70 parking spaces and create problems on a narrow roadway, not to mention cutting down acres of trees that buffer the view and sounds of Route 17.
A traffic study in the middle of August on a residential street is not the right time to see what traffic is really like when school is out, when rush hour occurs, etc.
If this village is concerned about money, how would they justify an outlay of at least $1 million to level 5 acres at least, in an area that is uneven at best, put in a field, create a large berm around most of the property as buffer so trucks or cars don’t crash into the field?
The solution, a much less expensive solution, one that was proposed in the report, paid for by the village, is to extend the field at Pleasant.