By Rhonda Massad
After discontinuing work on the new soccer field at Stephanie Park due to public pressure, the city of Laval sat down with anxious residents to hear what they had to say.
In a public consultation meeting held on Dec. 2 at City Hall, many residents expressed concerns about preserving the coveted woods adjacent to the future soccer field as well as the quality of life to surrounding residents.
Laval Mayor Marc Demers assured the crowd that their quality of life was not at risk as the natural grass soccer field would not be illuminated nor would there be any parking added to the area. In addition, landscaping work is planned to improve the existing wooded area between the rear lot of the residences and the new sports field.
“The soccer field at Stephanie Park has been planned since 2006. It responds to a growing need of the citizens of Laval. We understand that the work could have been cause for concern to some citizens, but our government is firmly committed to preserve the trees that adorn the park, like all woods Laval, “said Demers in a recent press release.
Following the meeting, the City of Laval, in collaboration with the Delta Soccer Association, agreed to reduce the size of the field to save as many trees as possible even though the original plans were within the permission granted by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Parks.
The park, though reduced in size, will still be able to offer an adequate horizontal playing surface to small players.
In order to address questions raised about the proximity of the field to the properties on Aubert Street, it was agreed that it would be built closer to the Stephanie Street.
Plans include a sports field drainage and irrigation system, fencing around the park perimetre, a driveway and benches. Work is expected to be completed late summer 2015. The field will be opened for play in the summer of 2016.
Deforestation work will restart as soon as Monday, Dec. 8.
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