February 2018

Iona College Petitions City Council to Increase Number of Dormitory Students at Legistative Meeting

By Stephen E. Lipken


Attorney Darius P. Chafizadeh, Harris Beach Attorneys at Law, White Plains hired by the City of New Rochelle as Outside Counsel appeared at the January 16 City Council Regular Legislative Meeting (RLM) to request increasing the number of students permitted to reside in Iona College dormitory buildings.


Mayor Noam Bramson stated that Council was not taking substantive action; instead scheduling a Public Hearing for Tuesday, February 6th.


“Ordinance 81 was passed in 2002, limiting the number of students from Iona College that could stay in two dormitories in Loftus North Avenue to 696,” Chafizadeh began.  “The occupancy at the time could actually be as high as 876 students, under the State Building and Fire Codes.  Around 2008-09-10, Iona asked City Council to increase the number of students up to the State Building Code.  City Council agreed to that increase for a two-year period.


“Subsequently in 2013 there was another request for an extension of up to five years for the same number of students to stay in these dormitories; it expired in September 2018...  Iona asked for an extension to 2020, so that the Planning Board can study the Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS)… and hopefully get a final number that makes you and Iona College comfortable.     We did receive an e-mail from Greg Varian, a lawyer for some of the neighbors, objecting to the Public Hearing called today.”


Bramson re-iterated that Council was not taking any substantive action.

Council approved a revised license agreement for the Wykagyl Conservation Easement property with Westchester Land Trust and Young Israel of New Rochelle (YINR) including installation of park benches, patio with permeable pavers, landscaping and re-establishment of existing trail system.  All improvements will be funded by YINR and the area will be open to the public.


A significant Resolution to establish a Veterans Advisory Committee was approved, membership restricted to New Rochelle residents who previously served in the armed forces or have professional experience in veterans programming and services.

Councilman Ivar Hyden was re-appointed to the Industrial Development Agency and School Board member Amy Moselhi was selected as a new IDA member, both terms from March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2021.



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