Dispute over planned Mason park and Deerfield development

Posted at 5:44 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 21:25:16-04

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Along state Route 42 in Mason is a little road that dead-ends into a little field. Mason officials, the Mason Parks Foundation and Deerfield Township officials want it to become what is called a "common ground park," a place where people with different abilities can play side-by-side.

Township Administrator Eric Reiners said the township will invest $100,000 for the project.

"It is an all-inclusive park that brings together people of all ages, demographics, and allows for those people with special needs to all come together in one inclusive place," Reingers said.

But Lelle Lutts and some other Deerfield residents said the former Kingswood golf course, now a vibrant park, is a perfect place for something like that.

"We get that and we support that," Lutts said. "What we're concerned about and don't understand is when you have a 100-acre green space right here at Kingwood Park, why wouldn't you utilize this beautiful park for an all-natural playscape for the children? It just doesn't make sense to us, $100,000 going to a Mason location, and yet we have a park right here in our backyard that we could be utilizing."

But the township is exploring development of that park, perhaps into a mixture of residential and commercial property.

Deerfield officials said the two issues were "entirely separate."

Lutts and her friends don't see it that way.

"We've got so many creative people in Deerfield Township to come up with ways to create revenue at this park as a park," she said.

The trustees voted Tuesday night to pass a memorandum of understanding about the common ground park in Mason. This resolution means that the township will move forward with its part of the project.