Residents score win over proposed Union County College athletic field

Residents living near the Union County College campus in Cranford are upset over the school's plan to remove 4 acres of woods to put in an athletic field. (6/25/14)

CRANFORD - A decision has been made in a controversy that has put a county college and the people who live near it in a turf war. 

Residents living near the Union County College campus in Cranford were upset over the school's plan to remove 4 acres of woods to put in an athletic field.

UCC trustees decided Tuesday to go with an off-campus location for the soccer and lacrosse field.

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Residents had argued that noise, lights and traffic would destroy neighborhoods and make existing tensions worse. 

UCC wants to build the athletic field for the teams that currently have no home turf to play games or practice. 

Spokesman Stephen Nacco says the students generally aren't treated well when arrangements are made on other fields. "Sometimes we're bumped because there's a high school game or other things," he says.

In order for the field to be built on campus, more than 700 large trees would have needed to have been cut down, which was another concern for residents.

Cranford flooded during several recent storms and residents were worried about runoff from the athletic field.

UCC was offered an alternative location at Oak Ridge County Park, which is a few miles away.  

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