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New athletic fields adding to Easton's Heil Park

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 19 2013 08:53:47 AM CST
Easton zoning board
EASTON, Pa. -

Heil Park in Easton in expanding.

Easton's Zoning Hearing Board officials granted special exceptions, allowing the city to build a 330 foot by 165 foot athletic field and a 388 square foot accessory building, near Grant, Salk and Bird streets, which will expand the current Heil Park.

Another exception allows a 150 foot by 105 foot practice facility with a lighted parking area, adjacent to the athletic field. One pavilion will be taken down to accommodate the practice field.

Public Works Director David Hopkins said the fields will be utilized for recreation league soccer and lacrosse games. Hopkins noted that the city does not have a recreational soccer field within its limits.

Parking is problematic in the area, which sits off Packer Street, near South Easton Cemetery.

The city plans to add 31 parking spaces, but some residents in the area remained against the plan, despite several public meetings outlining the project.

Rebecca McGill, who lives adjacent to the park, says cars have been damaged during football games at Heil Park by careless drivers. McGill told zoners she has called police on several occasions due to trespassers who smoke and vomit on her property.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said the football games cause parking problems four or five times per year.

The city purchased 10 parcels of land between Grant and Packer streets to expand the park. Panto told zoners that developers wanted the land to build housing developments.

"We know the problems of football season. There are complexities to living in that neighborhood," Panto said, adding that residents wanted the number of proposed parking spaces trimmed down for the expansion plan.