Freeport Village Board delays decision on rezoning of local ballfield
The Freeport Village Board delayed a vote on whether or not to rezone a popular field to create space for a manufacturing warehouse.
The vote was to decide whether properties, including the Cleveland Avenue ballfield, will be rezoned to allow for retail warehouses like Amazon to take over.
The three properties that would be rezoned include the ballfield, which is used by the school district, a former housing property and a former manufacturing site.
Residents packed the room at Freeport Village Hall to have their thoughts known.
“There has been no community involvement, no community input, no community constant, everything is being decided for us and it’s time that we have a say at the table,” says Lavette Hooks, part of a Freeport civic group.
She organized a petition which garnered more than 800 signatures of people who are opposed to rezoning Cleveland Avenue Park to an industrial site.
Hooks says if the area is rezoned, it would affected around 7,000 school children and roughly 100 families who live across the street.
Some officials in Freeport say Amazon bringing a warehouse could mean more jobs and money for the area, but George Small it’s not about money.
“The message that we are sending to those residents that live there is ‘we don’t care about you, we’re going to send pollution down there, we’re going to send unsafe streets that’s going to be down there for the children when they are running around cause of the traffic,’” Small says.
The school board released a statement that said, "With this hearing, the village is again behaving as though students' use of these athletic fields for generations simply doesn’t matter, and as though the district's legal rights do not exist. Obviously, we strongly disagree.”