A proposed indoor sports facility on Route 202 in Cortlandt near Cortlandt Lanes received mixed reviews last week during a public hearing.
The 68,000-square-foot, two-story building, known as Cortlandt Pitch, will feature an artificial turf surface and is designed to mostly serve youth soccer and lacrosse players. It is planned on a former six-acre farm land close to Lincoln Titus Elementary School in the Mohegan Colony section of town.
Martin Russo explained 45% of the venture by NY Indoor Sports is owned by town residents, such as himself, with the other funding coming from investors and sports enthusiasts. He stressed the vital need in the area for indoor space for athletes from November through May when outdoor fields are often unplayable. He also said existing town and school fields were unable to handle all the games that are scheduled.
“It’s by the residents of Cortlandt, for the residents of Cortlandt,” Russo said. “It’s a great facility. I’m very proud of it.”
Marty DiCola, longtime president of the Cortlandt Soccer Club, said the indoor fields would be a godsend for local youth.
“We absolutely need a facility like this in our area,” he said. “This will be a great benefit to all of the local soccer clubs and all the local sports organizations. There is nothing in this area that we can utilize.”
Glen Rohan, a volunteer soccer coach since 2000, echoed the frustrations of a few coaches who said it was unfair some local players had to join teams in other municipalities or travel long distances because of the lack of adequate fields nearby.
“I’ve always been an advocate for more playing space for our children,” he said. “Why do our children have to go somewhere else? We just don’t have the space here.”
However, several residents of Mohegan Colony, while sympathizing with providing facilities for youth, called for a time out, insisting the location, which is only planned to have one right hand turn in and out from busy 202, wasn’t the place for the indoor field of dreams.
“Nobody seems to be looking at the community right near this facility. I’m amazed,” said Connie Stringer of Briar Lane. “Yes, there is a need for some place. Is that the right place? Traffic is a nightmare. What is proposed is ridiculous.”
“This is not the location where it belongs,” said John Polinsky of Lincoln Avenue, who noted he was a big sports proponent. “I don’t disagree with the facility that this may be needed to a certain extent. However, it’s just not the location that would be best feasible.”
There will be no road connection to the site from either Maple Row or Cortlandt Lanes. There are 175 parking spaces proposed.
The Cortlandt Town Board is the lead agency for the proposal and will be making the final determination on the project and all its related environmental requirements, along with modifications to the Zoning Ordinance.
The public hearing is scheduled to resume at the Town Board’s February 12 meeting at 7 p.m. at Cortlandt Town Hall.