Click here to see a larger PDF version of this diagram with links to related documents
How the Notre Dame sports field went from a grass practice field to the much more extensive McCarthy Stadium is complicated. The diagram above provides a simple way to understand what happened.
Several things become clear, including the fact that in March 2006 the school withdrew its plan for a stadium and told residents that, if they did eventually decide to revisit the idea, they would apply for a new permit. They have not done this. Instead they are asking for a minor amendment, a process that doesn’t allow for proper public consultation and input.
The City of Vancouver’s Urban Design Panel did not discuss the field as it was removed from consideration (as promised by Notre Dame) in April 2006.
Another critical point is that the stadium and its potential impacts on traffic safety, parking and quality of life for the community have NEVER been studied. The existing Transport Management Plan was written over 12 years ago and assumes the installation of a grass practice field. A practice field brings minimal extra traffic, whereas a field for games becomes a destination with a far greater impact on the local area.
The series of events outlined in the diagram shows the need for a NEW BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS to look at all aspects of the proposed stadium and the effect it would have on our community.
In a welcome development, Vancouver’s Fire Prevention Division has requested an updated traffic study for the area around Notre Dame Regional Secondary. This comes nearly six weeks after Notre Dame Neighbours asked the fire department how McCarthy Stadium crowds and traffic will impact emergency response times at our Number 14 Firehall.
Here’s what Rick Cheung, Assistant Chief-Fire Protection Engineer told us in an email on 22 Oct 2018:
“Thank you for your feedback. Based on the information, I have recommended to the Development Services Department that the permit applicant provide an updated traffic study for the construction of the bleachers at the outdoor playing field.”
It’s significant that Assistant Chief Cheung spent some time reviewing the situation before asking for the new traffic study. His initial reaction to us was that there would be no impacts. Clearly when he examined the proposed changes more closely he changed his mind.
Notre Dame needs to take the safety of our community seriously. McCarthy Stadium is too big a change from the 2008 permit to proceed as a minor amendment. The school needs to apply for a new development permit with full and meaningful public consultation.
An aerial view of Notre Dame School and the surrounding area shows at a glance why the addition of a destination sports facility on that site and in this neighbourhood is such a bad idea.
A comparison of the size and location of Notre Dame School as compared to other high schools with sports fields shows the problem in an even clearer light.
Other schools with large sports fields:
- Have MUCH BIGGER campuses and more students
- Are located in less densely populated areas
- Are partly bordered by park or woodland to provide buffering between sports field and neighbours
The red box is the size of Notre Dame’s campus. Blue borders mark the campus sizes of the other schools.