The City of New Rochelle and Iona College announced today a comprehensive agreement that, when fully executed, will allow for the inward expansion of two campus buildings while addressing neighborhood concerns regarding the campus perimeter, and resolving recent legal disputes.
Collaborative work between the New Rochelle City Council, City staff, and Iona College has created a framework to advance the review of additions to Hagan and Spellman Halls, currently being reviewed before the Planning Board. The agreement includes:
•An expedited Environmental Review process for Hagan and Spellman Halls. The Planning Board will consider studying the environmental impacts of the additions to Hagan and Spellman Halls outside of the current GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement); complying with all environmental laws and studying all environmental impacts.
•GEIS process. All other potential projects on the campus will be reviewed during the GEIS process, including any potential development along the perimeter of the campus.
•Recognition of Iona’s longstanding efforts to improve surrounding residential neighborhoods and commercial corridors.
•Requirement of a Special Permit for future lot mergers.
•The College will discontinue pending litigation against the City and release the City and its officials, acting within their official capacity, from state and federal constitutional, Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act (RLUIPA), and related claims.
The College has also committed to the continued engagement of a “Town-Gown” committee composed of representatives from the City, Iona College and the New Rochelle community to facilitate ongoing discussion of shared interests for the community, the College and the City.
“The City wants Iona to be a thriving college that grows in a fashion consistent with our community’s planning principles and that continues to maintain a mutually respectful and supportive relationship with its neighbors” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “Through this comprehensive agreement, the City, the College, and nearby residents have an opportunity to accomplish these important goals together."
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement to move forward with the expansion of Spellman and Hagan Halls and offer outstanding learning environments for our students. Seeking input from our neighbors and the community has always been important to the College. We remain committed to being good neighbors to our good neighbors," said Iona College President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre.
“With this framework in place, the City of New Rochelle and Iona College can continue to move forward productively," said City Manager Charles B. Strome, III. "I appreciate the resolve and diligence of all who worked to achieve this agreement.”