Residents favor sports fields for Driver plan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bring on the baseball and soccer fields.

Ditch the amphitheater, 20-acre festival site and equestrian center.

That was the gist of input from the approximately 20 residents who got their first glimpse of the proposed plan for the $46.2 million, 360-acre Driver Sports Complex on Monday.

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The citizens’ input will be used to shape a final proposal that will be presented to the Suffolk City Council in June, said Lakita Frazier, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

The department is hosting two other public meetings this week: today at Lakeland High School and Thursday at King’s Fork High School. Both will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

Ruth Harrel, who represents the Bennett’s Creek Little League, said she believes the complex should focus on sports, rather than entertainment.

&uot;If it’s going to be a sports complex, it should be a sports complex,&uot; said Harrel, concerned that the plan is only proposing two Little League fields.

&uot;Right now, we are working with six fields,&uot; she said. &uot;That isn’t enough to serve 500 or 600 kids…and we have new kids moving in all the time.&uot;

Sandi Ramos, who moved from Alexandria to Nansemond River Estates three years ago, relishes the peace of her northern Suffolk home.

An amphitheatre for 10,000-along with the traffic and mass of packed coolers that will follow–would spoil those effects.

&uot;Most of us came out here for the quietude,&uot; she said. The family things – ball fields and the like – are fine, she said.

Sheila Brown, whose family has lived on the same land on Sleepy Hole Road for nine generations, is also concerned about the traffic.

&uot;I’m not opposed to having something out here,&uot; she said. &uot;But I think it will pose problems for people who own property.

&uot;When you have 10,000 people dumping onto one artery, it’s going to impact the citizens who live here.&uot;