Crossroads church’s ballfield plan gets council OK - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Crossroads church’s ballfield plan gets council OK

August 30th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Crossroads church’s ballfield plan gets council OK

By Ken Sain
STSN Managing Editor

One of the first things the new co-lead pastors at Crossroads Nazarene in Chandler said they noticed about their new church put a smile on their faces.

“Some of our first observations were that our neighbors in the community were using our church campus like it was a park,” said Brett Smith, who with hiss wife Tara Smith took over as lead pastors in July of 2020. 

“And this just made us really happy to see them using our green space for cricket, for just soccer, sports, all kinds of stuff bringing their kids on our playground.”

They wanted to encourage that and Chandler City Council obliged at its Aug. 18 meeting by approving a project to turn about 4 acres of vacant land into a multi-use sports field.

The church, at the corner of Price and Ray roads, had originally intended to use that land for parking. However, it has seen declining attendance since the pandemic began and started offering services online. 

Brett said that led to them to decide against expanding facilities, so they won’t need that additional parking.

The church plans to install three playing fields of natural grass and a decomposed granite walking trail in its first phase. The second phase includes plans for playground equipment, lights and seating for the sports fields.

“We have a 4-acre lot that hasn’t been used for anything in the last 20 years,” Brett said. “And we just kept imagining what it would look like to see our neighbors use that space too. 

“So we’re leaning into developing that, so our neighbors can come out and have a good time. We’ll have a walking track, multi-sport fields, and we’ll running some youth and children’s rec league, soccer, flag football, those kinds of things on that property.”

Two of the neighbors filed letters of concern about the project. One said Crossroads has been a good neighbor so far, but he still has concerns about this project.

David Ott wrote he’s worried about people parking on Mission Park, how quickly the church’s youth leagues might grow, and how will the no noise after 8 p.m. and no lights after 9 p.m. be enforced. 

However, he said the phase two plans concerned him more.

“Yikes, so there could be event microphones and music close to where we live? I’m very concerned about this!” Ott wrote. “Volume, duration, event frequency, who enforces, and so on.”

Renata Lewandowski wrote:

“Since construction will spread harmful dust, noises, pollution and possible scorpion infestation and it will be extreme disturbance after all is finished. This stadium will bring more people, noises and cars. We urge the City of Chandler [Council] to stop this and do not approve any development of sports fields next to our house.” 

The Smiths said they have met with many of the church’s neighbors.

“It was overwhelmingly positive responses,” Brett said. “The majority of the neighbors that we talked to are very eager about just having a place. Many of them admitted to already using our campus, and so for us to kind of expand it to make it more readily available, was actually a really exciting idea for the majority of the folks that we talked to.”

Brett said his congregation has raised a $500,000 to build this project.

“Our neighborhood needs green space, and we want relationships and friendships with our neighbors,” Brett said. “So it’s a bridge … for friendships is what we’re doing.” 

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