Three file an appeal on soccer complex

April 26, 2002|By Jamie Smith Hopkins | Jamie Smith Hopkins,SUN STAFF

Soccer players and parents might have celebrated too soon when a Howard County board approved a 10-field complex in Ellicott City - opponents are asking for the legal equivalent of a replay.

Three Ellicott City residents concerned about traffic safety filed an appeal with Circuit Court on Monday.

The Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County's complex, planned for a 52-acre parcel west of Centennial Lane, was approved in January by the county Board of Appeals.

In addition to the fields, plans call for 600 parking spaces, an administrative building and two shelters.

Its opponents worry about accidents if the complex opens, attracting hundreds of cars that will have to turn in and out of the site. No traffic light is planned.

"It's a good idea, bad location," said plaintiff David Kinsley, who has lived in Ellicott City for nine years.

Dave Procida, president of the 6,470-player soccer association, said his group has searched and saved for land for eight years and he is confident the complex will be built - possibly still in time for the group's 2003 Memorial Day invitational.

The soccer association does not want traffic snarls any more than its neighbors do, he added.

"If we find the traffic is difficult, we can reduce the number of games until we get it right," Procida said. "We don't want a mess - we can't live with that."

He has asked the plaintiffs to meet with him for a traffic control discussion, and Kinsley said he is willing to listen.

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