About 40 Genoa Township residents attended a special Sept. 28 meeting held to review a proposed plan for Jaycox Park.

About 40 Genoa Township residents attended a special Sept. 28 meeting held to review a proposed plan for Jaycox Park.

The Central Ohio Soccer Association wants to create four soccer fields on 26 acres of parkland on Sheffield Park Drive in exchange for a 25-year lease of the fields, said COSA president Bob Tener said.

After hearing COSA’s proposal, trustee Rick Carfagna asked for a show of opposition. All but about 10 audience members raised their hands.

He said trustees will discuss the issue at future meetings before reaching a decision.

About 15 people spoke against the proposal during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The speakers had similar concerns, saying soccer fields would increase traffic, reduce the marketability of their properties, and create an eyesore with portable toilets and garbage cans.

They also disagreed with Tener’s assessment on the volume of traffic soccer games would generate.

Tener said COSA would use only two of the four fields during a season. Most the games would be for children under 8 years old and would bring in about 52 cars when both fields were used.

COSA, a non-profit organization, would construct a 100-space parking area, the plan documents show.

Resident Chris Gombola said a 25-year contract should receive a great deal of consideration. He also objected to the process.

“We’re here evaluating a proposal from a third party that was proposed to the township,” he said. “I think it’s done backward. There should be an organized and structured way for the residents to come and layout the amenities we would like to see.”

Trustees said the park advisory board’s public meetings would be a good place to develop ideas.

Resident Rod Robinson said the property should be kept in its natural state and asked who would monitor the 25-year contract.

Resident John Ross said the concepts offered by COSA “are fuzzy” and need to be “distinctly put in writing.” He also wanted to know how and if such a contract could be terminated. He objected to the business-like use of the park.

Trustee Rick Carfagna said COSA’s proposal is the only foreseeable way to prepare the property for other park amenities such as trails, a playground and shelter house. The township has no funds to improve the park.

Tener said when he spoke with township officials earlier this year about leasing some of its property for the soccer program, they suggested Jaycox Park. He said COSA would consider using other township parkland if recommended.

The parks advisory board on Aug. 2 recommended on a 6-5 vote that trustees accept the proposal for improvements.

According to the parks advisory board’s Aug. 2 meeting minutes, the proposal calls for COSA to pay for grading the property, creating four soccer fields, and installing water, sewer and electricity. COSA also would maintain the property for the township.

Virginia Homes Ltd. donated the property to the township in 2009.