VRP Archives re: Post College / LIU

October 9, 1995

Murphy, Lynch and Gionis, Attys at Law
1045 Oyster Bay Road
East Norwich, New York 11732


This will confirm my recent phone conversations with Roger Guiliani and James Murphy, of your firm, in which we discussed the current application from Post College / Long Island University to construct a hockey rink for a Post Pioneers hockey team. While the proposal, in concept, is not incompatible with Post’s ostensible function, there is a great deal of unfinished business between Post and the community which would, for all practical purposes, preclude the consideration of any permit applications for any purpose whatever.

As you know, in many zoning related matters, the lack of local government resources hinders the enforcement of existing agreements on an ongoing basis. Indeed, in this case, it underscores the magnitude of the burden that Post places upon the local community. The Village of Brookville’s single building inspector, one man legal department and one man clerk’s office simply cannot continuously monitor Post’s compliance (or lack of compliance) with the agreements that Post has voluntarily entered into with the local community. Neither could it afford the expense of the civil litigation that would be necessary to enforce compliance.

Thus, in cases like these, outstanding discrepancies can only be effectively addressed when the scofflaw subsequently needs another permit for another purpose. Of course, when one agreement has been breached and flouted, any subsequent agreements must necessarily have more “teeth” in them. For that reason, we have proposed various ways of bringing private organizations into future agreements, as full signatories, with full recourse to civil remedies in the event of another breach.
Please review the attached note, which outlines the present situation and proposes some remedies to it. Feel free to contact us with your questions or comments.

I. Post College

A. unresolved problems:

1. sewer pipe project

  1. foliage along the route was to have been restored, but never was
  2. construction damage was to have been repaired, but never was
  3. damage was suffered by adjacent property owners, who never received redress
  4. pipe was placed too close to the property line, to the benefit of Post and the detriment of the adjacent neighbors; routes through the interior of campus, near existing roads, were rejected outright by Post officials (Cottone, Soldavan, et al)
  5. the pipe’s route seems to have been deliberately routed to keep the pipe in Brookville and avoid Old Westbury – did Post fear stricter enforcement of building codes in Old Westbury?

2. stable

  1. manure was disposed of improperly for many years, this was changed only when an expansion permit was sought (for the indoor riding area)
  2. paddocks extend right up to the property line, the legally mandated buffer zone does not exist (in fact, this posed problems for the sewer pipe installers)
  3. are there people living in the stables? – that would be illegal

3. outside events

  1. events that have no bearing on Post’s ostensible purposes are held on campus on a frequent basis
  2. their only purpose is obvious – fund raising
  3. these include:
    1. summer “camps” – soccer, football, cheerleading
    2. the circus is held on campus every year
    3. sporting events for outside teams (such as tournaments in which Post is not involved)
    4. outdoor parties such as the “Reggae Fest” in which numerous amplifiers were placed in the eastern end of the gold parking lot and used to produce volume levels that outraged the residents of Old Wheatley Road and Horse Hill Road
    5. Hillwood Commons and the Tilles Center are rented out to any outside group

4. other broken promises

  1. when Post sought permission to build Hillwood Commons, local residents were assured that they would always be able to use the meeting rooms, lecture rooms, etc. for their local organizations, at no charge – the current administration has reneged on that promise
  2. local residents are repeatedly assured that they may use the university library; this assurance is often ignored and signs are posted barring non-students. Even when this is not the case, residents cannot park their cars anywhere on campus, without being subject to ticket or tow, in order to use the various facilities and make good on these promises
  3. promises made by the Chancellor or the President are subsequently broken by the assistant clerk who is in charge of the facility that the residents seek to use

B. Post will not bargain in good faith with it’s neighbors when there is a disagreement

  1. see the case of William Popper vs. Post College / LIU re: noise from physical plant
  2. the construction of the theater marquis on Northern Boulevard is a flagrant violation of local zoning; Post must have known this and proceeded in deliberate defiance of village law (I discussed this matter with Dr. Steinberg, Chancellor of LIU on 11/11/86. He was intransigent.)

II. the political situation in Brookville

A. direct pressure could be brought to bear via private organizations and the local residents

1. Post does not enjoy much goodwill in Brookville
2. most of Post’s dealings with Brookville have been conducted in secret; this rubs the residents the wrong way and has been the subject of various village-wide mailings and is always an issue in village politics

  1. the terms of the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes are unknown, as are Post’s expectations regarding what they feel that their PILT “buys” them
  2. the VOB defied a state agency’s ruling on a Freedom of Information request to release a letter from Raymond Soldivan, LIU’s Vice President for External Affairs, to then mayor Galgano; the letter gave some details on Post’s dealings with the village and Post’s expectations for its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (8/26/88)
  3. the method used to compute the amount that Post “costs” the village is unknown; Post should publicly release their figures that they use to compute this
  4. the terms of the reimbursement to the Old Brookville Police Department have never been disclosed to the residents
  5. further, amounts paid to off-duty police officers, who direct traffic at Post (while in uniform) in lieu of paying the OBPD (directly) to supply on-duty officers further obfuscates the issue and this is generally perceived to be deliberate

3. no governmental body could be said to have shown due diligence if it failed to take Post’s past record of compliance (or the lack thereof) into consideration, and they know that they are now under increased scrutiny from the public and from state agencies that opposition political groups have brought in

III. Solutions:

A. Post shall agree, in writing and in clear, unambiguous, legally enforceable language, to cease and desist from any and all activities that are inconsistent with its ostensible purpose and detrimental to the interests of the community

  1. mainly, this centers on the use of the campus by outside parties and the use of the campus, by anyone, for functions that have no bearing on a university (in other words, Post is not a glorified catering hall)
  2. local organizations, not affiliated with the local government, must be parties to the agreement

B. Post must publicly announce all major events well in advance (as Old Westbury Gardens does) in at least two of the following ways:

  1. by letter to all local residents (their names and addresses are a matter of public record)
  2. by letter to any and all local organizations that wish to be so informed
  3. by letter to the local government, with the explicit understanding that the announcement must be publicly released, either by reading or by printed handout at the monthly village board meeting
  4. by posting said list to LIU’s web site on the Internet (http://www.liunet.edu)