Notre Dame reaches compromise with residents for rezoning plans on Palmer Street
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- Robert and Theresa Smith have been battling the University of Notre Dames expansion plans on Palmer Street for weeks.
“We have no objection to Notre Dame prosperity and Notre Dame growth, but their intention is to push us out," said the Smiths, residents on Palmer.
The couple who owns a home on the block have strong ties to the university after meeting on campus several years ago.
Robert is a double grad, Theresa worked on campus, and their son played football for the Fighting Irish.
When they learned their home would be surrounded by parking lots they felt they were entering a fight they wouldn’t win.
“They never respond to what we have to say. They vote real fast. And, there’s no discussion. So, the issues we’ve brought up have not been responded to," said the Smiths.
But to their surprise at a council meeting Tuesday — the university presented a revised site plan, directing most of the new parking spaces away from palmer street.
"We redesigned that west parking lot to have direct access to onto Leahy Drive. The other parking lot to the east side of palmer would only have access to the large parking lot," said Mike Danch, a lawyer representing Notre Dame.
The council approving the new rezoning adjustments made for a very happy reaction from Smith - with the exception of him not getting to give his planned speech.
“I want to say thank you to the council. Thank you to Notre Dame. They have relieved us of one of our major concerns," said Smith.
Notre Dame has not shared when the expansion is expected to break ground.