Debate over field sees overtime as hearing is delayed 

The parties debating the use permit for Notre Dame de Namur University’sKoret Field have been given another 60 days to kick around their problems, putting off what could have been a revocation hearing this week.

Citing insufficient sound studies, the Planning Commission delayed the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, until mid-January, to give the field’s task force more time to debate and the university more time to gather information.

"The commission did not feel comfortable enough talking about the conditional-use permit in total," Community Development Director Carlos de Melo said. "We want to understand the components of that study before any decisions are made."

The city has also stepped aside from its role as a mediator in the debate over noise and uses between residents and the university’s athletic program, allowing the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center to take over "meeting facilitation."

The next meeting has not been scheduled, as both sides are waiting for the university-sponsored acoustic study to be released. De Melo said he expected the report to be out by Nov. 15, but he has not seen or heard anything about it.

Notre Dame Associated Students President Mallory Barr said the new negotiations were going well, a sentiment seconded by university spokesman Richard Rossi.

"This is getting the conversation moving along and I think we saw more real progress than we have seen at any of the others," Rossi said. "There are still very real issues, a lot will depend on the report of the acoustical engineer."

With one Conflict Resolution Center-facilitated meeting down, Rossi said all parties seem to be more optimistic about the future of the

negotiations.

"They’ve got their hands full; there are some issues of trust and good faith," said Shauna Wilson Mora, manager of facilitation programs for the Conflict Resolution Center. "It’s clear to me that the group wants to work it out, but I don’t think they’ve come to an understanding of how to make that happen yet."

jgoldman@examiner.com

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