Genoa Township trustees rejected a proposal from the Central Ohio Soccer Association to improve Jaycox Park at their Oct. 20 meeting.

Genoa Township trustees rejected a proposal from the Central Ohio Soccer Association to improve Jaycox Park at their Oct. 20 meeting.

Resounding applause from about 20 residents in the audience greeted the decision.

COSA wanted to build four soccer fields on 26 acres of parkland on Sheffield Park Drive in exchange for a 25-year lease of the fields. The association would have paid for grading the property, creating four soccer fields and installing water, sewer and electricity.

Citing opposition from residents who live near the park as their primary reason, trustees Barbara Lewis and Karl Gebhardt voted to reject the proposal that COSA first introduced in the spring.

“We’ve heard much public testimony and reports from the parks board.É The majority of residents at Jaycox oppose this park. I don’t want to force somebody to have a park that they don’t want in their neighborhood,” Lewis said.

She said she “believes in the rural residential character” of the township, has problems with losing control of the land through leasing it and was concerned that such a use of the park would create too much traffic.

Gebhardt’s concerns included entering into a “poorly drafted” leasing contract and bringing more traffic problems to the area of Jaycox Road and Sheffield Park Drive.

Trustee Rick Carfagna, absent from the meeting because of a death in his family, had submitted a letter on the issue which was read into the record.

He “had hoped” the opportunity for COSA to fund park improvements “would have generated excitement” among residents, but seeing the opposite, he couldn’t support the proposal, he wrote.

Trustees agreed the township needs more green space for such activities, but not at Jaycox Park.

“Go by any flat green piece of ground — there are kids out there playing and we should encourage that,” Gebhardt said, “but it has to be in the right area.”

Gebhardt said he will continue to consider such public-private relationships.

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

Trustees also announced:

• Police Chief Robert Taylor was recognized by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and presented the Mark Losey Ohio Distinguished Law Enforcement Service Award.

• The Safety Services Open House Trick or Treat Village scheduled for noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7049 Big Walnut Road.

• Beggars Night in the township is from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

• Leaf drop-off runs Nov. 1-30 at the maintenance facility, 7049 Big Walnut Road. Residents must put their leaves in the containers.

• Trustees will next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 5111 S. Old 3C Highway. Regular meetings will occur only on the first Thursday of the month in November and December.