CARDINAL WOODS BASKETBALL COURT
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You may not have heard, but the Borough of Raritan is considering building a basketball Court at Cardinal Woods Park. Although it's good for kids to have a physical outlet, basketball courts have been proven to add several problems.
At the most recent meeting I attended (May 11th), I was advised that the Borough Engineer was approved to go forth with drawing up plans for the proposed basketball court. Prior to this, the Recreation Commission only recently went door to door with a piece of paper asking for a yes/no answer with no real substantial details (at least 54 responses were never received.)
Before the Borough Engineer brings the plans to the Recreation Commission, Mayor, and Council for final approval, I feel that we should be offered the opportunity to have a public hearing regarding it. We should be allowed to decide if Cardinal Woods Park is an ideal location for a basketball court. Taking into consideration that it is being built close to homes and there have already been documented problems (including late night activity, vandalism, and litter) at the park. We should also be shown what the exact plans and costs are associated with building it.
I was informed that the money to build it is not coming from a grant, but rather from the capital budget that will be fueled by a portion of the property tax revenues. With the recent budgetary problems, is it economically responsible to build a basketball court that will need continued upkeep and police presence costing the taxpayers more money?
Is it a Necessity?
-There is already a full-sized basketball court located within 2 miles of Cardinal Woods.
Security (Increasing the chance of burglaries & lack of lighting)
-Burglaries have already occurred in recent years. If crime and noise problems increase this adds up to the likelihood of lower property values.
-There's a lack of lighting as it is, and it was already determined a few years ago that adding lights would be intrusive to nearby homes.
I was also informed that there were no plans to fence off the existing park area, and no plans to fence off the actual basketball court, install a buffer to reduce sound, or limit hours of play to help reduce the potential negative effects - all making it easier for problems to occur there.
-Where will basketball court users park their cars?
-This leads to more traffic on secondary roads and less on street parking for residents.
An interference with our right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of our properties
-Do you want to listen or subject your children to the screams and profanity of rowdy people?
-There will be constant repetitive noise of basketballs throughout the day and during evening hours.
-These are the predominate issues people face when a basketball court is built, especially if placed close to homes.
Basketball Court Not Being Used for Intended Use
-Will it be used to skateboard on instead?
No Bathroom Facilities
-People will likely resort to using the woods as a restroom in view of kids playing at the park.
An Older Crowd (both local and from out-of-town) will be attracted
-Borough police have stated this has been a problem at Frelinghuysen Park (located on Sherman Ave in downtown Raritan).
-Do we want to encourage an older crowd and people from out of town to come and play basketball next to children who are playing at the park?
Police Response Time
-Response time is already delayed because we are in the furthest section of Raritan.
-Do they have the manpower to be able to dramatically increase their presence in our neighborhood?
-Past lack of supervision at the park has created problems increasing the need for police presence, so why compound the problem by building something known to have issues?
The Borough has already dealt with these issues at Frelinghuysen Park where the basketball courts are directly across the street from homes. Persistent problems have led them to install security cameras there. Even if a basketball court at Cardinal Woods Park had security cameras, the park is already further from the downtown police station than Frelinghuysen Park. This makes it difficult for a quicker response time and for ongoing needed police presence in comparison to Frelinghuysen Park.
Other towns that have basketball courts have experienced the same problems as outlined above (articles regarding these issues are included in this petition located above and to the right in green under 'Links').
I've drawn up this petition to voice either your opposition against the basketball court being built (based on the problems discussed thus far), or for your desire to see more detailed information before any final decisions is made.