2011-12-21 / Front Page

Two to ‘audit’ soccer meeting

Freeport councilors to attend group’s gathering; circulating petition opposes zoning changes
BY DARREN FISHELL, Times Record Staff

FREEPORT — Two town councilors will sit in tonight on the meeting of a neighborhood group opposed to a soccer stadium project that seeks to locate between Hunter Road and Pownal Road.

At a Town Council meeting Tuesday, residents from the “ Save Our Neighborhood” group voiced their concerns about preserving the rural quality of the neighborhood and their desire to block changes to zoning that would allow commercial development.

As of this morning, those residents collected a total of 145 signatures for a petition opposing any zoning changes that would accommodate an indoor and outdoor soccer facility project on 12.42 acres off of Hedgehog Mountain Road by the Topsham-based Seacoast United Soccer Club

Mike Healy, spokesman for Seacoast, said Tuesday that he had not seen the petition, but that the group does not present a new challenge for the soccer facility project.

“The citizens’ group has existed for some time,” Healy said.

Healy said that despite challenges in Freeport — including a Planning Board recommendation against rezoning the rural district — and despite Seacoast’s planned purchase of the Howard SportsDome in Topsham, the nonprofit soccer organization is still interested in locating in Freeport.

“We still want to move forward,” Healy said.

On Tuesday night, residents from the neighborhood group shared personal concerns and those of other petitioners about the soccer stadium’s impact on the rural neighborhood.

Town Council chairman Jim Cassida said Tuesday that he and newly elected District 3 councilor Kristina Egan will “audit” a meeting of the neighborhood group tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Freeport Library.

dfishell@timesrecord.com / @darrenfishell

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