DALLAS -- The girls of Ursuline Academy are one step closer to getting their own athletic field.
The Dallas City Plan Commission recommended a zoning change Thursday that would allow for the construction of a new soccer field for the private Catholic girls' school. The Dallas City Council still has to give final approval to the change.
This was the school’s second time going before the commission for approval. Back in 2001, the City Council denied the request because people living near the school complained about the noise, traffic, and extra light that would result from having an athletic field so close to their homes.
The lighted soccer field would be built at the southwest corner or Walnut Hill Lane and Inwood Road.
Ursuline Academy supporters, including a group of students, packed City Hall chambers Thursday afternoon wearing “Support Ursuline” stickers. Neighbors opposed to the new field also came out in large numbers, donning stickers with the word “NO” printed in large letters.
So many people spoke during the hearing that several times commission members were asked to extend time so that everyone on either side could speak.
Regen Fearon said she lives on the largest track of land that would be adjacent to the proposed field. She said she can’t hear any noise coming from the school when she’s inside her home. She said Ursuline Academy’s championship soccer team deserves to have its own playing field.
“I do think the girls deserve to have a home field,” Fearon said. “I think if we were talking about football, there would be no question that the boys should have a home field.”
Hillary Hurst lives near the proposed site of the new field and has a different point of view. She said she moved to the Preston Hollow area because of the natural beauty and its quiet surroundings.
“The Ursuline girls can play on a number of fields," Hurst said. "The girls come and go every four years, but our family hopes to live in our home the next 40 years.”
Even though they won this round, Ursuline Academy supporters were still only cautiously optimistic that the City Council would approve the zoning change after shooting it down 12 years ago.