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Resident Appeals Youth Sports Group Use of NDNU's Koret Field

Belmont resident Evelyn Seely filed the appeal on Friday afternoon.

A resident who lives near Notre Dame de Namur University and says noise from the school's Koret Field is unbearable has appealed the Planning Commission's to allow youth sports to use the field.

Belmont resident Evelyn Seely filed the appeal on behalf of herself on Friday afternoon, just shy of the 5 p.m. deadline.

Seely and the 30 to 40 residents who comprise the group "Belmont Residents for a Tranquil Community" decided she would file the appeal herself in order to allow the other members of the group to comment when the item is brought before the Belmont City Council.

Had the whole group appealed, Seely said, they would have had to squeeze all of their remarks into 10 minutes. This way, she said, as the appellant Seely has 10 minutes to speak before the City Council, and any other residents who submit speaking cards will be given three minutes to speak.

Seely is opposing the July 19 decision by the Planning Commission to allow Belmont United Soccer Club and Belmont-Redwood Shores AYSO to use Koret Field.

"I’m not against sports, I have a relative who plays sports," Seely said. "Just because this field is there doesn’t mean it should be used all the time every minute that it can be used, because it’s also impacting the neighborhood in a negative way."

The commission voted 3-1 in favor of allowing youth sports groups access to the field after AYSO regional commissioner Greg Snow and president of the Belmont United Soccer Club Tom Snider said at the July 19 meeting they were to help keep noise to a minimum, and that they'd only use the field for one or two games a weekend.

"This field is not going to accommodate all these kids we’re talking about," Snow said at the meeting, referring to the roughly 1,500 kids who comprise the youth sports groups.

"We’ve got 10 other fields that we play on now. We’re obviously trying to get the turfed at the same time," Snow added.

The Planning Commission's permit was ultimately altered by the Belmont City Council, which NDNU said implemented too many additional restrictions. NDNU in February it would keep its 2005 permit, which didn't allow youth sports to use the field.

But NDNU also said it was willing to find a way for that to change. And in April, the two youth sports groups to the city for use of Koret Field.

Laura Dudnick July 30, 2011 at 12:32 AM
Readers, this article was just updated to reflect that the appeal has been filed.
FM July 30, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Agreed!
Steve Hayes July 30, 2011 at 04:26 PM
The original appeal placed the 31 complaining neighbors (out of 10,600 households in Belmont) against the school. NDNU had offered Belmont sports teams (Our Kids) the right to use their new field and the Complainers tried to use that goodwill gesture against NDNU by asking for new restrictions on when the field could be used. The City Council acquiesced to the Complainers – supporting 31 households at the expense of all NDNU Students and Our Kids. Of course, NDNU rejected that tainted offer. The current offer has nothing to do with the field use by NDNU. The current appeal is simply the Complainers against Our Kids. Why is this appeal ridiculous? Two youth soccer games per week will generate very little noise. The person appealing this case lives about 1000 feet from the field. Traffic noise on Ralston creates more noise than soccer games. One argument used is that NDNU cut down the buffering eucalyptus trees – of course it is difficult to play soccer on a field with trees on the field. Another feeble argument is the fact that NDNU is not a taxpayer, ignoring the fact that the school is one of the biggest employers in Belmont and benefits the community in more ways than any other Belmont private enterprise. They even use the argument that the artificial turf field “might have dangerous chemicals” – not sure how that affects noise.
Alice Stoddard August 09, 2011 at 06:13 AM
I'll chip in for ear plugs. lol.
Member May 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I am trying to find an email and contact for the group "Belmont Residents for a Tranquil Community". Can anyone help me?

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