The Cranford Baseball and Softball league’s use of the Adams Avenue complex was
brought up during Monday’s committee workshop meeting by a resident who feels
the use is impacting his quality of life.
Resident and former Mayor, Mark Smith, lives near the Adams Avenue fields and expressed that the Cranford Baseball and Softball League has turned the fields into regional softball field.
“They’re no longer neighborhood fields, they are now used by all of Central New Jersey,” he said.
Smith voiced his concerns about the early games on Sunday mornings, some of which start at 8 a.m., as well as the back-to-back games throughout the weekends that create a parking problem, litter and noise. His main concern was with the amount of people coming from out of town into the neighborhood.
The Cranford Baseball and Softball League have had a lease with the Township since the 90s at $1 per year for the use of the fields.
Smith suggested the Township consider not renewing the lease and replacing it with one that includes input from residents who live in the area.
Keith Hoffman, a CBSL Board Member, explained that the league is in compliance with the lease and have even compiled a usage report just this year. He added that the league has actually had a lease with the Township since 1956, but the change in the 90’s came due to the addition of programs for the girls.
Hoffman stated that back in the 70’s and 80’s the fields were used much more then they are today. Adding that the only complaints he’s received have been from Smith and his wife.
To not renew the lease would mean no Softball for 250 Cranford girls, as well as the end of the High School softball program, Hoffman expressed.
Smith added that he did not intend for the CBSL to have no lease with the Township, but rather one that considered the residents nearby.
Hoffman explained that many residents in Cranford are strong supporters of the baseball and softball programs. He said the recreational programs offered in town help the tax base and it would not be smart to get impact such a large one.
Mayor Thomas Hannen ended the debate between Smith and Hoffman by explaining it the matter would be taken up in closed session, due to its contractual nature.
Do you live near Adams Avenue fields? Do you find the games and practices to be a problem?