Residents living in a rural part of Johnston County have voiced their concerns over a neighbor’s wish to build a trio of soccer fields on property he owns.
George Gonzalez wants to use part of the 30 acres he owns to develop the fields and host games on the site.
Neighbors say the soccer fields would impede on their sense of peacefulness and other pastimes they enjoy.
The Johnston County planning board has recommended denial of Gonzalez’ request and county commissioners now have the final say.
We would suggest that the soccer fields, far from being a burden, can become an asset.
We would rather see young people hanging out at a soccer field and enjoying some friendly competition than lurking on street corners or frequenting crack houses.
While most towns in Johnston County have robust parks and recreation programs, there’s comparatively little opportunity for those who live any distance away from those towns.
Building a recreational facility in the county would give the county and our local schools an additional resource that could be tapped when the need arises.
Concerns about traffic and parking along Eatmon Road can be alleviated to some degree by requiring onsite parking. With 30 acres of property at the site, there’s no reason we know of why cars need to be parked along the street.
As county commissioners mull the concerns of neighbors, they should also consider the needs of the community. There are no significant resources in that area. Providing healthy, safe diversions for a community is always in the best interests of both the community and the local governments.
And if the county could tap into a resource like that, without having to foot the bill, then it’s a win-win.