November deadline set for resolution of Koret Field feud

Unless Notre Dame de Namur University and its Belmont neighbors resolve their differences over the use of Koret Field by November, the school could face revocation of its use permit for the $1 million synthetic surface.

On Tuesday, the Belmont Planning Commission set Nov. 20 as a possible date for a revocation hearing, giving both sides just more than 90 days to come to an agreement about the use of the field for athletic events.

A small group of neighbors, led by Risa Horowitz — who lives on Ralston Avenue across from the field — has repeatedly complained to the city that the field is being used for events not intended for the site.

In a worst-case scenario, the school would be unable to use the field without the permit, even for its own events, such as graduations and the school’s athletic events.

Community Development Director Carlos de Melo said that while the permit could be revoked in November, he is sure that the two sides will find a solution that allows activities on the field.

“I’m very positive that positive steps will be made in the next 90 to 120 days,” de Melo said. “Nobody — concerned citizens, the school or the city — wants this field to be shut down.”

When the field was planned in 2005, De Melo said the city and university set a very strict set of guidelines for the field’s use: conditions included a prohibition on early practice times and adult sports leagues. The whistles, public announcement system and fan noisemakers at the field also test Belmont’s noise ordinance.

Horowitz — who said she empathizes with the students who may be affected — said she called the Belmont Police Department on Sunday, after seeing a group of students playing on the field. Although she said they were not causing a disturbance, using the field on Sundays is prohibited.

“It has nothing to do with disturbances,” Horowitz said. “When it comes to violations of the [conditional use permit], it’s a violation of the CUP, period.”

Notre Dame spokesman Richard Rossi said the school has installed security cameras to monitor the field for unauthorized uses.

Rossi said school leaders felt a task force set up by the city in April was making progress on the issue. The hearing, he said, will damage those efforts.

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read