Neighbors push back on possible plans for football field

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — – Some people in Orchard Park are fighting plans for a new football field and parking lot. They say these plans will be more of a pain than progress in town.

“We’d love to be able to stay, to live back here in our little oasis of the land back here,” said Rhonda Jaracz, who lives on Ferndale Drive in Orchard Park.

The area behind Rhonda Jaracz’s home is a quiet little oasis for many neighbors living along Ferndale Drive. Now they’re making a lot of noise to keep it that way.

“We discovered that the town has started this complex. This football complex and there’s been no vote, no notice. We’re pretty upset about it,” said Deirdre Kelley, who also lives on Ferndale Drive.

Deirdre Kelley and her husband Sean started a petition after hearing plans to build a football field in the area behind their home.

Town officials says the idea is a field and parking lot for the Little Loop football league.

They say they’re planning to build a community activity center where the league currently plays which won’t leave room for a football field.

“It in brush mountain park where it currently is but with wetlands and the size of the building and drainage and things it just didn’t work,” said Patrick Keem, Town Supervisor in Orchard Park.

Keem says the town is considering the area between Ferndale Drive and Webster Road which the town owns.

But Kelley says it’ll hurt the wildlife in this area and bring more traffic.

“Negative impact on people’s getting to school and certainly drainage and property value. We’re really looking to persuade the town to find another location,” said Kelley.

“This is so preliminary we have no plans or anything. All we’ve issued, the town board, is a permit to take soil,” said Keem.

But neighbors say they still have many questions.

“We are willing and hoping to that we all can come to some kind of compromise but right now we’re all a little on the fence right now,” said Jaracz.

Keem says because the town owns that land it will eventually be used for something, even if they choose a different location for the football fields.

Town officials want to hear from neighbors at the next town board meeting, Wednesday July 18th at 7 p.m.


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