MARYLAND

Potomac residents keep up fight against county executive's soccer fields plan

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The battle is brewing over a plot of public land in Potomac.

County Executive Ike Leggett has struck a controversial deal to turn it into soccer fields.

But some in the community continue to fight it.

Residents have expressed concerns about potential noise and traffic from the Brickyard project. But most of all, they say, the process has lacked transparency.

"It really is a conspiracy to take public land and give it to a private organization," says Keith Williams, a Brickyard Coalition member.

"Basically these are folks in an exclusive community, who think in the county, soccer fields and affordable housing should only go in places like Silver Spring and Rockville, shouldn't go in Potomac," Patrick Lacefield, a spokesperson for the county executive has told ABC7 in the past.

"We've been around for 41 years doing good things for our community, not just putting on youth soccer programs but all of our outreach programs, feeding the hungry, bringing programs to children with financial need," says Doug Schuessler, Executive Director, Montgomery Soccer Inc.

And today we got a first look at the details of the proposal. According to the sublease agreement, MSI would pay for the construction of two large soccer fields, and two small ones, as well as restrooms, shelter, a maintenance shed, and a playground.

The nonprofit's teams would have first rights to the fields, and it would pay the county $1,500 per year. MSI would also maintain the fields, and could hold games between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

But residents are still hoping that the county council will stop this project. They have until April to pass an expedited bill that would require their approval of it.

But even if the council fails to do so, residents vowed to fight the deal in court.

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