Iona letter and Beechmont
Beechmont Association RESPONSE TO IONA LETTER 5/17/17
RE: UPDATE ON IONA'S ATTEMPT TO INCORPORATE LOTS FROM BEECHMONT INTO
THEIR COLLEGE CAMPUS
Fellow Beechmont Resident:
As you may have heard, Iona is suing the City of New Rochelle to allow Iona to
'administratively merge' and incorporate (11) residential lots they own on Beechmont
Drive, Montgomery Place and Pryer Terrace into their college campus.
If Iona is granted the merger, they will have the right to build new structures (parking,
dorms, classrooms, etc.) in Beechmont on this newly merged "mega lot."
There are technical legal issues involved, but what is at stake is the fundamental
integrity of our neighborhood, and the ability to maintain the extraordinary vision of
Beechmont as created by the founders 115 years ago.
BEECHMONT IS OPPOSED
The Beechmont Association Board is strongly opposed to any merger, whether
administrative or otherwise, which would move (11) lots, (10) single family homes, and
approximately (7) acres of Beechmont into Iona's campus, and thereby change forever
the physical boundary lines of Beechmont, to the advantage Iona, and to the potential
detriment and harm of the unique Single Family Neighborhood of Beechmont.
Beechmont is more than a neighborhood of houses, streets and families. Beechmont is
an idea, a vision, and an achievement, for over a century, and headed for a second
Beechmont is as modern and vital to the City of New Rochelle today as it was when it
was originally built; and it continues to be an extraordinary place for family life,
whether it be traditional single families, or members of a brotherhood, or a college
community. The point is, regardless of whom Beechmont is serving, it should never be
altered from its intended purpose and its use, and it should never be minimized in its
boundary lines, no matter how many lots an owner may own.
IONA LETTERS TO BEECHMONT
Iona recently sent a letter to Beechmont residents titled "Unfortunate Misinformation"
The letter says, "It is deeply upsetting that a deliberate misinformation campaign has
been advanced in recent months, by persons external to our neighborhood, designed
to drive a wedge between Beechmont homeowners and Iona College."
Beechmont residents and the Beechmont Association are leading the charge, and are
equally concerned about what is at stake. Other New Rochelle neighbors and
neighborhoods may also be raising issues, but it's incorrect to imply there are
"external" persons leading an opposition effort to drive a wedge between Beechmont
and Iona. Who is this and why would they do that?
"Iona has no plans to build parking, or residential or academic structures in
Beechmont, None." We believe what Iona says. The problem is, Iona is unwilling to
commit to this statement on a permanent basis. New administrations or new needs for
growth could change that statement at any time.
Ironically, a commitment of a more permanent nature added to the statements Iona
already makes in its own letters, could solve everything.
Iona also says, "there is no hidden agenda"
But they don't explain what their agenda is, except in the short term. Why is the
college suing our City if it has no plans to change anything? Why are the residents and
the City of New Rochelle still waiting for Iona to share its "Master Plan?"
THE CITY OF NEW ROCHELLE
The Beechmont Association strongly supports the City of New Rochelle and their rights
and obligations to protect City neighborhoods with appropriate zoning legislation, and
to defend those rights and obligations when needed.
We have also engaged our own Attorney, Greg Varian, to defend our neighborhood
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Send your up to date contact info, name & email address to the Beechmont
(Dr. Stanionis, President of the Beechmont Association, and Professor of Physics at
Iona, recused himself from taking sides on this issue.)
2. Write to your city council-person "Barry R. Fertel" <email@example.com>
3. Attend the next public meeting on this topic (date tbd).
4. Follow this case on the Beechmont website www.beechmont.us
5. Pass this email to your neighbors who may not be on our list. Make sure they are
6. Join the Association, if you have not done so. The debate needs support of all of our
7. Attend the Beechmont Association's General Meeting on this topic (date & location
We conclude with the inspiring comments of Eugene Lambden, the visionary founder
and president of the Beechmont Association, at its first meeting July 4,1904.
"As the pioneers of Beechmont, we desire to record our interest in the growth of the
City of New Rochelle, believing that he who provides a home for self and family is not
only just with his own but also influences by his example others, and that good
citizenship is based on a pure appreciation of domestic responsibilities, molding the
principles and policies of this nation."
Eugene Lambden, President, July 4, 1904
The Board of Directors
of The Beechmont Association