ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va.---The Rockingham County board of supervisors unanimously approved building a new park near Spotswood Trail and Indian Trail road.
For this to happen,the county swapped Albert Long park, which is nearly six acres, for more than 65 acres for a park and seven acres for commercial land.
Supervisors approved two rezoning requests in order for the land swap to go into effect.
The new park could include soccer fields, walking trails, pavilions, among others.
Eilidh Thomson supported building the park at a public hearing on Wednesday.
"We feel that the true youth of Rockingham County will benefit from this," Thomson.
Thomson is the director of the Shenandoah Valley United Soccer Club. She said the majority of the kids from the club's program are from the county. However, they have to play in Harrisonbrug or privately-owned fields.
"There is no parks and recreation facilities that the county can offer us," said Thomson.
Neighbor Ed Comer said the county does not have anything like this.
"This is really a dream come true. There is a lot of growth and development in this area...young families come with growth and development," said Comer.
Norma Gardner agrees with building with the park. However, she worries about Albert Long becoming a business zone.
"We just regret very much that Albert Long park has been caught up in this swap and we are really beginning to feel like wicked stepsisters or something," said Gardner.
She said she worries about the value of her home going down.
"The park that's an asset. But depending the businesses and how they are handled, not necessarily," said Gardner.
Businesses along Albert Long park could include a gift shop, medically oriented offices and hotels, among others.
The county will develop plans for the new park within six to nine months. After, it would ask for input from the public about it.
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