TR sports complex clears legal hurdle

A potential obstacle standing in the way of a proposed multi-sports complex in the Three Rivers area was cleared Wednesday.

St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton ruled a 77-acre property on which the complex is to be developed is vacant, contrary to claims by Lockport Township officials.

The question of whether the undeveloped property is vacant was called into question after the city of Three Rivers earlier this month annexed the parcel. Township officials have claimed a permanent easement and buried water-line infrastructure negate the primary terms of annexation.

Doug Kuhlman, Lockport Township zoning administrator, said the township board has scheduled a special meeting tonight to determine if it will move forward and appeal Middleton’s ruling to a higher court.

Meanwhile, Three Rivers City Commission member Jared Hoffmaster, a leading advocate for the sports complex, said he was happy with the decision and remains excited for area families. Hoffmaster said he is confident youth soccer, football, baseball and softball will thrive at the site.

Lockport Township secured the temporary restraining order Feb. 3 in response to the city of Three Rivers annexing the property the night before.

The property in question lies in an area between North Main Street to the west and Buckhorn Road to the east.

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