Brickyard Coalition continues to fight soccer complex

Photo: Flickr/Steven DePolo

For several months, members of the Brickyard Coalition in a Montgomery County neighborhood have mounted an attack against a proposal to turn an organic farm into soccer fields.

Now, as the decision-making process about the potential athletic complex continues, a number of Maryland legislators is urging leaders to bring finality to the matter.

In a letter to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, eight Maryland state legislators have asked the state Board of Education to expedite the process "in the best interest of the citizens."

Residents of the area say that the entire process has lacked transparency.

"The decision was made in the dark without any community input," Brickyard Coalition member Curt Uhre said.

Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County) says that a decision, either way, needs to be made.

"I personally think the organic farm belongs there," Frosh said. "That might be wrong, but in any case, the board needs to make a decision."

Leggett has fought fire with fire ever since residents of the neighborhood appealed the matter to the Board of Education, who originally leased the land to the county. As they wait on a decision, construction could start as early as August.

The county executive has also repeatedly charged that residents of the community simply don't want the soccer fields in their backyard.

"We need more fields," Leggett said. "This would not solve our problem, but it would at least address some of it."

The proposal also lies in the hands of the Department of Parks and Planning, who must decide whether the roads can accommodate additional traffic.

"We clearly need a decision by the state board before any action should be taken," Uhre said.