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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Latest on the MAC, full Press story for Friday

By CAROL GORGA WILLIAMS
COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU

WEST LONG BRANCH — The Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold a special meeting Feb. 8 to
consider the scaled down plan for a Multi-Activity Center at Monmouth University.
The board Thursday night agreed unanimously to let the university reopen its application.
However, it voted 6-1 to limit the scope of the reconsideration to traffic, parking and
conditions placed on the operations of the proposed center, such as number of "capacity"
events scheduled there.
In deciding to consider the modified plan for the center, or MAC, the board said it
determined a mistake was made during its deliberations on the previous application when a
board member said he talked to the police chief about that lack of traffic plan for the center
when an informal plan exists.
The school made the request to the board nearly six weeks after an earlier proposal failed
to generate the necessary five affirmative votes needed for approval.
Monmouth University President Paul G. Gaffney II commented that "reasonable people can
come to reasonable accommodations" when he said earlier this month he would ask the board to
consider the revised plan.
The scaled-down Multi-Activity Center would have 720 fewer seats — down to 4,122 — and
would host 12 "capacity'' events a year instead of the 25 originally planned. Capacity events
are expected to attract 4,000 or more. The $34-million-arena would host basketball games and
feature an indoor track, the university bookstore, athletic department offices, the Varsity
Club, classrooms and a fitness center.
Under the previous design, the center would have had 4,842 seats, a reduction from the
6,000 initially envisioned in a plan that was not financially feasible, Gaffney has said.
After nearly a year of hearings, the zoning board Dec. 14 voted 4-3 to approve the plan.
But because the application sought a use variance, it required five affirmative votes for
approval so the application failed.
The board members who opposed the application — Ellen Anfuso, Douglas Bostwick and John M.
Aria — are all relatively recent appointments to the board.
They did not offer specific reasons for their votes, while board secretary Irven Miller and
board Chairman Rocco W. Christopher listed reasons the plan should be approved.
During hearings for the arena, which would be built on two temporary parking lots
northeast of Boylan gym, neighbors complained of noise, parking and traffic concerns.


e-mail tonygsports@aol.com

13 Comments:

Blogger Tony Graham said...

Do you think WLB is coming around on this?

Did any of you attend?

1:02 AM, January 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the zoning board FINALLY approves this thing, MU might just as well turn over the keys to the place to WLB -- seems like they'll be calling many of the shots with it.
I still say take them to court!

8:17 AM, January 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could this be true, it really sounds like it. I still don't like the idea of a scaled down MAC.

9:20 AM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

IF WLB gives the Ok..just build the thing...A scaled down MAC (depending on how much scaled down) should be fine...

Really..how many crowds of 4,000 or more are you going to have?

Going to court means further delays as opposed to beginning construction maybe this spring or summer..and now you can say to recruits - YES.. the MAC will be ready in - whenever..

If WLB says Ok... BUILD IT (and people will come).

10:08 AM, January 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

I understand your point to get the thing built and at least have it in place for recruiting etc., but to spend $34 mil and have our hands tied on its use like this is very troubling.

Obviously a 4100 seat MAC would be MORE than sufficient for now, but will it hold enough for a possible state high school championship -- I'm sure MU would like to have that kind of exposure. What about if we ever want to expand our own horizons? This thing could be obsolete very quickly. I'd hate to see that.

10:50 AM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Even if MU goes to court - and wins - I have been told the seating is not going to be much more than currently proposed under the "scaled down" MAC.

Don't think they plan to use it for high school state championships anyway.

As for expanding horizons..MU is not going Big East or A-10, probably ever.

A spanking, new 4,000 seat arena for the MAAC or Patriot type leagues would just fine, in my opinion.
If it ever comes to that.

Just BUILD IT!!!!

11:11 AM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger JMG1MON said...

State championship is either at RU or Continental. No chance it ever comes to Monmouth, even with a bigger MAC.

1:35 PM, January 26, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

It said in today's article that neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking and noise.
1. The traffic issue was worked out between WLB police & MU months ago.
2. There is plenty of parking for the events; i.e. the bowl game on December 2nd.
3. What noise?? The MAC is enclosed.

5:35 PM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Right..those "arguments" are all bunch of nonsense.

5:51 PM, January 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:34 PM, January 26, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I had to edit this somewhat..but otherwise it passed the censors (me) ..

Anonymous said...
It was soooooo clear at the meeting last night that Ms.Anfuso had no idea what the case is about and she just kept trying to vote no to anything that was offerd,and Mr. Mistake himself Bostwink sounded like he was caught red handed in a Huge LIE. It was so bad you thought Anfuso was brain dead and Bostwink face was so RED that he was about to cry.Then the best part was the Zooning board lawyer was caught in a " mistake" as well.... Get the picture.Anfuso and Bostwink could NOT understand MU offer to resolve the issues that the WLB people care about... and that PARKING and SEATING go hand and hand, they equal TRAFIC..... Go figure Now you can see why small towns get in so much trouble......

Yes..I'll add here..it's all politics....the heck with what's best for the school and the community..but maybe reason will prevail after all...

7:00 PM, January 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony for cleaning up my Blog you got the point ....

10:56 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Nooooo......problem. Believe me, I understand how upset everyone is at WLB's attitude, but, maybe MU at least gets the one additional vote required at the Feb. 8 meeting.

12:30 PM, January 28, 2007  

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