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Harsh Public Comments for Iona Occupancy

The public hearing was in consideration of a request by Iona College to extend the waiver of its dorm occupancy limits.

Of the comments given during a public hearing Tuesday about Iona College's request to extend its dorm occupancy limits, none were in favor.

New Rochelle resident Tom Cassidy was firmly against the waiver.

He said he thought the college knowingly put too many students in their dorms. Because of the college, he said home values are going down.

"This is about greed," Cassidy said. "Iona is making money."

The public hearing was a chance for residents to voice their concerns about Iona College's request to extend the increased number of students able to be housed in its dorms by five years.

The rationale was that there was a two-year extension granted when the college discovered it was not in compliance with the city's zoning code, while remaining in compliance with fire codes and state standards. City zoning regulations permit the housing of 696 students. The college currently has 850 students in the dorms.

The extension, if granted, would be contingent on the approval of a final report by the College-City-Community Planning Committee that includes the recommendation of the extension.

Robert McCaffrey said it wasn't just about the additional 150 students.

"Extending the process out for six years is unacceptable if there is no plan," he said.

McCaffery said the college needs to work within the original timeframe first before moving on to other approaches.

"Don't keep rewarding Iona College for their irresponsible and selfish actions," he said.

nancy July 12, 2012 at 02:35 AM
new rochelle seems to want to be a college town and a luxury hi income town they are not doing anything for the middle income i feel that i now live on campus of monroe college in the south end and middle new ro is being taken over by iona and all big plans are for luxury condos and high rises. what about businesses affordable housing and stores. what about building a community?
Michael Woyton (Editor) July 12, 2012 at 02:53 AM
That is a good question. How does a city balance the needs of the community with the advantages of having a college crowd (i.e., kids/faculty/staff spending money) in the areas.
Peter July 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The Iona dorms are backed by NYS Dormitory Authority bonds, and Iona has a strong legal argument that it is the NYS zoning limit (which allows for more students than does NR's) that applies. It seems to me that Iona under President Nyre is beeing very cooperative and intent on being a better neighbor. Iona also brings millions of dollars into NR on an annual basis, and is primarily responsible for stablizing its section of North Ave (and halting the march of decay upward on North). Cooperation and realism on both sides is called for here. Iona is a huge asset to NR, and Iona is not leaving. in fact, it is clearly in NR's interest for Iona to prosper. More dorm space is needed for Iona to remain vibrant. Let's deal with the issues of student behavior at night by going straight to Nyre, and to the NRPD if needed.
Bryan July 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Having lived in the dorms for 2 years, those things were extremely crowded and were intentionally made even more crowded after I had graduated. There has to be some sort of middle ground on this issue

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