Van Drew Team Urges Pinelands Commission to Resolve Soccer Dispute : News Room : The Van Drew Team for Change : Jeff Van Drew, Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land
Van Drew Team Urges Pinelands Commission to Resolve Soccer Dispute
TRENTON – Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (both D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic) issued the following statements today on the Pinelands Commission decision not to allow a farm owner in South Jersey to host youth soccer tournaments on the grounds. The commission notified the owner of Tuckahoe Turf Farms, a sod farm in Hammonton Township, on April 21st that the tournaments violated a deed restriction limiting its recreational use to “low recreation” activities, described as hiking, hunting, canoeing, horseback riding and bicycling, among others, the Press of Atlantic City reported today.
Senator Van Drew:
“From all accounts, the soccer tournaments are well-run and extremely organized events that bring thousands of people to the region. We know that families are visiting our hotels and restaurants and contributing to the local economy. This is a positive event for the community, and particularly for the kids.
“I recognize the Pinelands Commission has concerns about the field’s use, and I understand they have a job to carry out. But this is one of those cases where we have to use common sense. The property is already a sod farm. No one is saying we should cut down trees or change the landscape. The owner is merely asking to allow kids to play soccer on the field for a number of days out of the year.
“Before we shut down this year’s tournament entirely, I think it’s worth taking a step back to reconsider the decision. I urge the commission to do its best to work with the land owner and resolve this issue. If there are minor details that need to be addressed – such as regulating traffic in the area – let’s work them out. But we cannot just terminate the events without taking a second look.”
“We’d hate to see the kids not be able to play in this upcoming tournament, or to see families dissuaded from visiting this region. We are asking the Pinelands Commission to revisit this decision, for the benefit of the community, the businesses and everyone involved.”