When Quinnipiac’s Special Permit and Site Plan Application 06-1096/WS on April 10, 2007, it was under the pretense that the people living there would be considered on-campus residents and not commuters. In a January 2012 memo, Assistant Town Planner Dan Kops stated”Although not listed as a Condition of Approval, the Commission approved the dormitory application based in part on a traffic study that assumed that students residing at the York Hill campus would not be driving to classes at the Mount Carmel campus during standard business hours.”
Until this fall, the Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission was under the impression that York Hill students were not driving down to Mount Carmel. Imagine their displeasure when Bernie Pellegrino and the Quinnipiac delegation presented information that completely went against the prior agreement.
Quinnipiac then revised its policy in October, giving only seniors the right to drive down and park during peak hours, which seemed to appease the commission.
Senior Vice President for Administration Richard Ferguson sent out an email Feb. 8 to York Hill juniors which informed them all that all parking restrictions were being removed. This was done without consultation of the Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission and without changing the wording or the spirit of the original agreement.
The email said, “To avoid disruption in academic programs we have revised the policy to allow juniors living on York Hill to park on the Mount Carmel campus at any time.”
While this seems to be an admirable cause, it goes against the wishes of the town. Quinnipiac should have taken this situation into account before building York Hill or before agreeing to the terms that they did. Administration is concerned with how the students behave off campus when it comes to New Haven and in Hamden neighborhoods, but on this occasion they should be looking towards their own behavior as a source of poor PR.
The hubris exhibited by the university during this entire parking situation should serve as a warning to all of us soon leaving the Quinnipiac bubble. Within Hamden, Quinnipiac is the second biggest employer next to the town itself. It holds a lot of money and pumps a lot of money into the surrounding community. Holding such a position gives the institution the idea that it can make its own rules.
If Quinnipiac comes out on top here, it will simply be a microcosm of how society and government work; those with the clout (re: wealth) get their way.
Guess us CAS kids should be sucking up to the SoB kids, huh?