Developer delivers on his promise, provides parkland track to Carmel
The Journal News
December 18, 1999

37-Acre site could include football-soccer fields, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts

Carmel - Now that developer Paul Camarda has secured the necessary approvals for a 71-home subdivision off Seminary Hill Road, he has made good on a promise to give the town 37 acres for recreational use.

"When I gave my word, I knew I would come to the plate, and now's the time," Camarda said.

At a meeting with town parks and recreation commissioners on Thursday, he unveiled his suggestion for the site: three football-soccer fields, three baseball-softball diamonds and three tennis courts, along with two basketball courts, a roller hockey field, playground, picnic area, restrooms, parking and a gazebo.

"We'll try to squeeze t he most out of the parkland," said Richard Gennaro, the town's recreation supervisor. He hopes to begin clearing the site in the spring and have some of the amenities completed by late summer.

It would be the first athletic field complex in the hamlet run by the town government. There are two others in Mahopac. With few town fields, many sports activities were forced outside the hamlet of Carmel.

"This park is about progress. Recreation is a top concern for families, and Paul is helping us address the issue," said Mary Ellen Odell, president of the Carmel Sports Association, who approached Camarda four years ago about giving the land to the town.

"The town is in dire need of fields, and this is a tremendous gift," said town Supervisor Frank Del Campo.

The developer, said Del Campo, has paid Carmel the required $213,000 recreation fees due on his 71-home subdivision, along with offering to build an access road to the park from Seminary Hill Road, help clear the land and bring town water and sewer lines to the park from his development.

Camarda is set to have Wyndham Homes of Carmel begin building the four- and five-bedroom homes in the new development, called Willow Ridge.

The park, he said, will benefit all residents of Carmel and further enhance the value of his homes.

His other proposed projects in Carmel - a corporate park and a housing development near Centennial Ridge Golf Club - do not include any park provisions.

The park will be named the Paul A. Camarda Park in honor of the developer's father, who lives on Long Island.

"My dad has been an inspiration to me," said Camarda. "He's incredibly supportive and critical - just the right blend."