Planning Board OKs Roof for Bocce Court

Several seniors were on hand to talk about the popular rec center pastime. Developers look to build condos on Franklin Place.

On Monday night, the Planning Board gave the green light to the construction of a roof over the bocce court behind 100 Morris Avenue. The recreation center court is a popular draw for Summit seniors who like to play the game that involves rolling a ball towards a target. The proposed 15-foot-tall by 80-foot-long wooden roof would keep the court clear of debris, and encourage regulars to use it well into winter, weather permitting.

"This is going to open up a lot of opportunity for fund raising tournaments, now that we'll have a roof," said Eric McFerran, a bocce regular who plays at least three times a week.

helped design the roof with funding coming from the the City's Capital Improvement Fund and a matching grant from the county's Recreation Trust Fund. About $7,500 in grant money will go toward the structure this year, according to director Judith Leblein Josephs.

The goal for creating the roof isn't just for the seniors who frequently play bocce, but also to encourage others to take it up as well. "Eventually, what we want to do is to have children learn [to play bocce]," said Joe Caruso.

Miles MacMahon, 85, came to the planning board meeting in a show of support. He's taken to the bocce court since its days at Mabie Park in the 1990s. Overall, he's been happy with the setup at the rec center. "It's been great," he said.

Josephs says the next step in the process is to order the prefabricated roof structure. She did not say when the project would be completed.


Village Courtyard at Franklin Place

Developers for a 16 unit condominium complex—on the that burned down in 2004—presented their plan for the commuter friendly development at Franklin Place. Developer Peter Biber, of The , was on hand to present the drafts for the Village Courtyard at Franklin Place, a complex which would include a water wall, glass partitions multi-story parking lot with an elevator, and a unique staggered line of housing with one and two story units side by side. Biber called it a project that lends itself well to a transit village. "Young people can live close to the train station. It's a terrific plus for the neighborhood," he said.

Several board members were not pleased with a traffic study by engineer Harold Maltz that they felt didn't take into consideration the impact on traffic during peak times. 

The planning for the project is still in its early stages with more presentations and meetings on the horizon.


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