In early April, Mary Caroline Powers, Vice President for Communications and Government Relations at Empire College, telephoned one of the leaders of the neighborhood association that defeated Sonny Bonacio’s original proposal for Moore Hall.
Ms. Powers explained that the College was very concerned about the new variances being sought by Mr. Bonacio for his revised plans for the Moore Hall property. Specifically, the College was concerned about the side set-back variance (for 10 feet versus the required 20 feet) impact on the back side portico door of the historic building owned by the College at the corner of Regent and Union.
She asked whether the neighbor had attended the ZBA meeting on April 11. She was informed that he had. He described what had occurred to date regarding the project in terms of SEQR and other issues.
He then shared with her that it was unlikely that the College could expect much support from the neighbors in light of the College’s unwillingness to support the concerns of the neighborhood regarding the original project.
Ms. Powers explained that they had met with Mr. Bonacio and had agreed not to publicly oppose the original project. She advised the neighbor that they had privately expressed concerns regarding parking and pedestrian safety.
He told Ms. Powers that he would pass her concerns on to the neighbors but expressed skepticism that in light of the College’s previous lack of support, that there would be much interest in working with the College.
She welcomed any feedback from the neighbors, and said she would be glad to explain the College’s position with regards to the previous Moore Hall proposal for 53 micro units in the existing building.