Thursday, October 29, 2009

No dorms please - Times Union

By SCOTT WALDMAN, Staff writer

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Residents around the proposed new dorms at the University at Albany are not happy that a towering mass of students will be their new neighbors. The school has long been looking to increase the number of dorms it offers.

College students don't always make for the cheeriest neighbors. They tend to view their stay as temporary and leave trails of red Solo keg cups in their wake. In the case of the Eagle Hill neighborhood, near where construction of the new dormitory is proposed, that means they'll have less of buffer between the nearby woods and the school.

Enter state Assemblyman Jack McEneny.

He recently sent a letter to University at Albany President George Philip asking him to scrap the plan because it would intrude upon those who live near the school, some whose families have lived in the same homes for generations.

"I fear the University is about to plunge into a quagmire of Town-Gown hostility by encroaching on its nearby residential neighbors," McEneny wrote.

In the letter, McEneny -- longtime Albany politician and unofficial city historian -- warned Philip that the destruction of the "ecologically sensitive" pine forest during the construction of some buildings is still a painful memory.

"I urge you to get your tenure off on the correct foot by putting an end to this second plan to intrude on the neighbors," McEneny wrote.

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