Second Catalpa Park Public Hearing Set For June 30


The redesigned plan for Catalpa Park, displayed by Open Space Advisory Committee chairman Randy Jones at the Feb. 17 meeting.

A public hearing on the slimmed-down version of the proposed Catalpa Park is set for 7 p.m. June 30 in the Township Council chamber.

The new plan has been making the rounds of various boards and advisory groups with Township manager Robert Vornlocker since February. Vornlocker has been explaining the changes and asking the members to create recommendations to be delivered at the public hearing.

This is the township’s second attempt at devising a design for the park, targeted for about 100 acres bordered by South Middlebush and Old Vliet roads. The first plan, introduced last year and with a public hearing on the same date in 2014, created an uproar among area residents who feared the township was creating a sports complex similar to that of Middlebush Park.

The new plan is about one-third smaller than the original plan, and includes only two phases, rather than the original three. The first phase would include six tennis courts, a tot lot and a bathroom, while the second phase includes one small and one large cricket pitch and a picnic pavilion, as well as parking.

Also eliminated from the original plan was a new walking trail, and in its stead is proposed an interconnecting trail to the township’s existing trail network.

Members of the Advisory Recreation Council are expected to ask for the return of at least two of the basketball courts to the plan because, they say, there are no courts on that side of town.

The council will also ask for artificial turf for the cricket pitches, so they can also be used for soccer practices; a walking trail with fitness stations and a frisbee golf course.

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