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Friday, February 09, 2007

Full MAC Press Story

by By CAROL GORGA WILLIAMSCOASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU
WEST LONG BRANCH … The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5-2 late Thursday night to approve Monmouth University's scaled-down plan for a multi-purpose activity center adjacent to Boylan Gymnaisum.
The vote, which came shortly before midnight, on the modified plan for the MAC reflected the change in position of board member John M. Aria, which provided the application with the five necessary affirmative votes.
Alternate members Helen Anfuso and Douglas Bostwick continued their opposition to the MAC plan, voting against the application.
Aria said that his concerns about traffic and the kind of events to be held at the center were alleviated under new proposal, which had been modified since failing to garner the five votes at a Dec. 14 board meeting.
The vote at that meeting was 4-3, with Aria among the dissenters.
""There's a price you pay for democracy. This means being here on a Thursday night," said University President Paul G. Gaffney II, who attended the nearly five-hour-long hearing Thursday. "Maybe we made a little bit of ground establishing trust (with the borough).''
 Monmouth University asked for the reconsideration after the board voted Dec. 14 4 to 3 to approve the application. Because the project involved use variances which require five affirmative votes to pass, the approval died.
The vote, explained Board Attorney Thomas Klein, was a ""technical denial.''
On Jan. 25, university attorneys Marc D. Policastro and Wendell A. Smith convinced the board that a mistake had been made during deliberations in December when board alternate Douglas Bostwick had said no traffic plan exists between the school and borough police.
School officials and Police Chief Arthur N. Cosentino agree that an informal plan exists. Now board members must decide how formal to make the plan. The school has argued the plan must have flexibility because every event is different.
Board members also had to decide in January whether to reopen the case to consider the new -scaled-down proposal for the MAC, and with Bostwick opposing, voted 6 to 1 to do so, provided the agenda was limited to issues of parking, traffic and what conditions the board could place on the operation of the MAC.
Board alternate Ellen Anfuso, who like Bostwick, had voted against the MAC in December, continued to express concern that the board would be unable to effectively monitor the conditions placed on the school.
Board member John M. Aria was the third dissenting vote in December.
The scaled-down multi-purpose 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 people.
There also would be fewer parking spaces.
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, University President Paul G. Gaffney II has said.
The MAC is part of his plan to create ""destinations'' on campus.
During hearings on the arena, which would be built on two temporary parking lots northeast of Boylan gym, neighbors expressed noise, parking and traffic concerns. Under the new plan, the school said that in every case where it expects more than 3,000 tickets will be sold for a MAC event, it will notify borough police in advance and follow parking and traffic protocols established by the department.
This includes placing ""no parking'' signs on certain streets and paying for additional borough or university police, or security personnel, to control traffic.
The university and borough police will file an annual report on traffic and parking issues, the college offered.
Monmouth promises not to use the MAC and the adjacent Boylan Gymnasium for events attended by the general public at the same time.
The university also agreed to let the MAC be used by organized citizen groups of the borough.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing! Two of those WLB puppets STILL actually voted against the MAC! Guess they didn't believe we had conceeded enough.

As for the 5-2 vote, I feel like we lost! Too many concessions -- it should have gone to court, even if it took longer (we've waited this long already).

8:09 AM, February 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when are they gonna break ground>?

8:44 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger JMG1MON said...

Its about time. Although I'm sure this isn't a done deal yet! Something will stop it from being built!! Tony, if it took this long to approve the MAC, how do you think Monmouth is ever going to improve Kessler Field??? I just don't see how it is going to be possible to upgrade their!!

8:47 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Just take this win and run with it ..get out the hammer and nails and start building.!!

10:40 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Don't know about breaking ground....I would imagine this spring... Actually I'll still believe it when I see it...

About Kessler. One thing at a time..The MAC will serve to bring the weight training..etc...up to speed...

I know they do hope to expand Kessler Field...but I think they gotta get the MAC up and running first before tackling any other issues..

The MAC though..will - should - help in football recruiting as well as hoops...

10:46 AM, February 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAC is more important cmon. Hoops has long long deserved this, and despite recent football success, hoops is the cornerstone of the MU athletics program still.

12:00 PM, February 09, 2007  
Anonymous mu mystery coach said...

Time to start bringing the newspaper article that says it's approved and that nice virtual picture of the basketball ARENA and go get some REAL basketball recruits. With a strong facility, a winning tradition (which SHOULD keep up this year barring anymore 17 point collapses), a beautiful campus near the ocean and stability in the coaching staff this team deserves to bring in some really talented kids NOW!
Calloway: Preach about the program, the consecutive winning metro area seasons, the MAC and the beach. Go get a reliable big man and a good small forward type to fill out next year's roster.

12:28 PM, February 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its hard for me to believe that any hoops recruit would select a school other than mu with the mac. Could we possibly upgrade our hoops conference?

3:55 PM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Up grading from the NEC will be a possibility once the MAC is up and running and I believe those are the long range plans of the MU administration... but be careful what you wish for..don't overshoot..

8:13 PM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger bob curran said...

Tony,
If we ever moved conferences,any idea where?Big East(lol)?Also,i've heard Seton Hall would come here with a bigger arena.Is Rutgers still scared?Man,that Rutgers game still haunts me.We had those SOB'S,now they refuse to play us,just like Princeton.

12:00 AM, February 10, 2007  

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