University of Notre Dame plans to build new parking lots on edge of campus

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:27 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame’s parking problems extend well beyond game day.

The university wants to build two new parking lots on the east edge of campus, so some existing lots can become building sites. A new research facility near McCourtney Hall was mentioned at today’s meeting of the St. Joseph County Area Plan Commission.

The proposed extension of the school’s footprint amounts to stepping on the toes of Dr. Robert Smith and family who have owned property along Palmer Street for about 100 years.

“Leave us alone. You want to build houses on Palmer Street? We welcome it, but parking lots, and parking gates, and lots of traffic because it’s more convenient for them and not so convenient to us?” Dr. Smith told 16 News Now. “They’ve made offers on the properties. If we’re interested in selling, we’ll respond but we’re not. We enjoy it, you know. Our old aunt has lived in the house 50-years. The house was built by her in laws nearly a century ago.”

Dr. Smith is a ‘double domer’ who went to Notre Dame, only to later see the campus slowly come to him. He feels the parking project bring it too close.

“The University of Notre Dame is a growing campus, so they are trying to be considerate of the residents that are left along Palmer Street,” explained Mike Danch at Danch Harner and Associates. “But it’s also a need for them to have some parking for the future for buildings and structures that are going to go on campus.”

The parking project received a favorable recommendation from the plan commission by a vote of 8-to-1.

The St. Joseph County Council will have the final say.

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