Regarding “VP durkee ’69 asks for zoning changes” (Thursday, March 2, 2010):
As one of the University’s attorneys and an attendee of Tuesday night’s Borough Council meeting, I would like to clarify a point of discussion from that meeting. The University’s outside counsel, Richard Goldman, did not indicate that “the University’s legal claim to zoning rights is a weak one.” He was answering a question about why the University had chosen to seek new zoning, rather than request exceptions (known as “variances”) from the requirement of the existing zoning. He was pointing out that because the variances would be so significant, even if they were obtained they could be subject to legal challenges and the legal case for the variances would be weak. None of this is relevant, of course, because this is not the course the University is pursuing. In asking to replace outdated zoning with new zoning, the University is following the procedural path outlined by thew Municipal Land Use Law and local ordinances.
I would also note that contrary to the implication of your article, there were only three members of the public who spoke during the public comment period, two in opposition to the University’s request and one in favor. The mayor imposed a time constraint after the first two speakers only because of the length at which they spoke.