College postpones expansion appeal to City Council

Lafayette has postponed their scheduled appeal with the Easton City Council. The fate of Lafayette’s McCartney Street mixed-use dorms will remain up in the air past the originally scheduled Nov. 9 hearing.

Vice President of Finance and Administration Roger Demareski said while there were no complications leading to the decision to delay, the college needed more time to be “careful and thoughtful” with their presentation.

“We just felt we wanted to take a little more time to make sure what we were going to present was thoughtful and thorough and was not in any way jeopardizing any relationships we have,” Demareski said. “We have a very, very strong relationship with [Mayor Sal Panto], city council and with the city.”

The mayor sits on city council which approved the zoning changes the college needed to build at the height and impervious coverage dimensions planned for their dorms, a move also not recommended by the planning commission.

There is no set date for the hearing, Demareski said. However, with its additional time, the college is taking measures to prepare and fully understand why the planning commission did not recommend the plans.

“We received a 27-page document from the planning commission and it was clearly done with a lot of energy but thoughtfully done and there was a lot there,” Demareski said. “So you have to take the time and pull that apart, and the most important thing is to look at each issue from the viewpoint of the opposition.”

President Alison Byerly agreed that the college’s decision to push the appeal to a later date was in the interest of fully understanding the decision not to recommend the college’s original plan.

“I think it’s just doing our due diligence to make sure we fully understand the nature of their concerns,” Byerly said.

Despite the postponed appeal, Demareski said the college is still on track to start with the McCartney Street phase of the expansion plans, and that construction will still begin on schedule.

Jane Collins ’18 and Kathryn Kelly ’19 contributed reporting.

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