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Catalpa Park Construction Start Delayed Until Next Year

Residents line up to speak at a public hearing on the proposed Catalpa Farm. (File photo.)


Construction on Catalpa Park has been put off for about a year due to permitting issues.

The first phase of the park, bordered by Old Vliet and South Middlebush roads, was expected to be open by this fall.

But a realignment of the driveway into the proposed park triggered the need for more stream crossing permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said.

“It is anticipated that we will have those permits in time for a winter bid and construction to begin in the spring,” he said in an email.

The park is expected to cost between $3 million and $4 million. In addition to two cricket pitches, the park will also feature four tennis courts – which will be striped for Pickle Ball players – two basketball courts, a bocce ball court and areas to play horseshoes and cornhole.

There will also be two pavilions, one by the cricket pitches and one on the other side of the park, as well as a tot lot. Two parking lots will hold 82 and 67 parking spots, respectively.

There will also be two bathroom areas, one each near the cricket pitches and on the park’s other side.

An internal walkway will connect to an existing township trail, and will feature paracourse equipment, and a fenced-in community garden will be planted by the play area’s parking lot.

The park has been controversial since it was first announced. Three public hearings were held over three years, the last being June of 2017. Residents in the area opposed the plan over noise concerns, and a desire to not see the Catalpa farm property developed.

The township scaled-down the size of the park from the original plans, which seemed to mollify some of its critics.

 

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