SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Johnston County Commissioners voted 4-3 Monday night to approve a youth soccer league's multi-field facility, but with some modifications to please neighbors who didn't like the idea.
The league agreed to reduce hours and to forbid fans from using noise-makers during matches.
With those changes, the board approved a special-use permit and rezoning needed for the complex proposed by the Johnston United Soccer Association, a league with 550 kids, ages four to 18. The league hopes to have balls flying around the fields by next spring.
Currently, the league's players practice at schools and city parks, and the league has spent about $10,000 renting fields.
"When kids are younger, we can play on baseball outfields, fields that are smaller. But when they're older, we need full-sized fields for kids to play on. Those are very scarce in Johnston County,” the league's David Parker had said Sunday.
The problem, according to the group, is that other organizations need to use the fields as well.
When J-USA decided it needed its own soccer complex, one parent bought 25 acres off Jordan-Narron Road. Plans call for three soccer fields, lights and 120 parking spots.