Business park to get soccer fields

A local developer plans to build four outdoor youth soccer fields and one inside a building on property he owns in Lakeside Business Park, off Interstate 77 Exit 36. The private soccer complex will be along Raceway Drive.

Owner David Denham, president of The Denham Corp. of Mount Mourne, said he intends to have the fields ready by this fall.

The fields will have lights and artificial turf and will be up to 80percent smaller than regular youth soccer fields, such as those at the town's Mazeppa Road Park, Denham said.

The 80-acre Mazeppa Road Park is scheduled to open on Labor Day weekend with six lighted soccer fields, three lighted adult softball fields, a lighted adult baseball field, a mile of walking trails, a playground with a longer-lasting rubber surface and concession stands, restrooms and open-air shelters. Two of Mazeppa's soccer fields have artificial turf.

Denham said his project is not out to compete with such public fields. He will offer "academy soccer" with highly skilled coaches who will improve techniques of players through age 12. The academy will offer three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five play, he said.

"I don't think we will be a competitor," Denham told the Mooresville Board of Commissioners last week, before the board voted 6-0 to approve a conditional use permit for the project. "I want to be a partner."

Mooresville commissioner Chris Carney initially expressed concern about allowing athletic fields in a business park that's supposed to house industry providing jobs. But he changed his mind when Denham said he owned the three acres in question.

"It's his property, and he has a business plan" for developing the land, Carney said.

Commissioners balk at proposed car lot

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners held off voting on a permit last week that would allow a used car lot to open on East Plaza Drive (N.C. 150) near N.C. 3.

"We're looking at adding yet another used-car lot in a corridor already littered with them," commissioner Miles Atkins said at a public hearing on the request by K&W Auto Sales International Inc. to open its seven-car lot at 420 E. Plaza Drive. "So we're looking at making it Mooresville's 'used car row.'"

At least two unsightly used car lots already operate across East Plaza Drive from the site, commissioners said.

"It's getting worse every day," commissioner Thurman Houston said. "To tourists coming through, it's an eyesore."

K&W owner Antoine Johnson said he would place his cars to the side of a building on the lot as opposed to fronting East Plaza Drive like the other dealers. He also agreed to have a paved rather than gravel entrance.

Derrick Rodgers, son of the property's owner, Eddie LaVaughn Rodgers of Kannapolis, told commissioners he would make sure the property looked nice. He also described Johnson as an ideal tenant. "He will be a longtime, stable tenant," Rodgers said.

Commissioners said they want time to individually look into the site. They said they will vote on the permit at their regular meeting at 6 p.m. June 6 at town hall, 413 N. Main St.

Church named Earth Care Congregation

Davidson College Presbyterian Church was certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Environmental Ministries April 19. The church pledged to integrate environmental practices and thinking into its various activities.

Earth Care Congregation details: