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Thread: Dealing with those universities

  1. #1

    Dealing with those universities

    I currently live and work (seperately) in cities that are home to a major university. Am I alone, or do others deal with institutions of higher ed that seem to believe that they are exempt from the ordinances/building codes that govern the city in which they are located??? For example, this institution houses an equistrian facility. When they decided to build classrooms for it, they planned to serve the restrooms with well water. Once they learned that they would need to get permits for public water consumption from the DEQ, their response? "Well the horses seems to prefer the well water," and "We'll put bottled water in the restrooms"....seems like they hold higher regard for the horses than the students. They are always demolishing builidngs and never come in for permit, they ask that their site plan review be "pushed along,"and generally ask that their projects be top priority. For someone who gives no property tax to the city, and probably limited sales tax, I have no idea why we coddle these folks. arrrrggghhh!

  2. #2

    dealing with those universities

    Hey, you don't know how lucky you are. Dealt with any churches yet?

  3. #3

    dealing with those universities

    Yes, they seem to believe that...and worse..get away with it. In my hometown of Toledo, a local Univiversity, unflatteringly known as "Bancroft High" (If you live here, you'll understand) wanted to expand their campus about 10 years ago so they wiped out a whole working class neighborhood to the south. They just took the properties - over 90 of them - through eminant domain. Everything was demolished, not one house saved. Not one.

    And what did the University utilize this land for once they acquired it? A oversized parking lot...full of useless token landscaping. Oh, I'm sure they'll build some pretentious big block building and name it after some egotistical former president, but that's years down the road. Right now they have to deal a smaller budget due to declining enrollment (down 8000 since 1991), and getting a new president (the present one resigns today amid controversy).

    Now the University has even "loftier" goals. I've heard they want to expand to the east and take out another viable neighborhood.

    So what you are saying just reiterates what I've believed for years. That universities - and also hospitals, churches and art museums - can just sieze properties for any reason, demolish everything in sight - and call it necessary for the public good. They want to have their prescious "greenspace" which translated means "we want to keep the black/working class neighborhoods at bay"

    Univerities like this have no accountability whatsover. They should be held to the same laws as everyone else. If nothing else, this will save a few dollars tuition for students each year.

  4. #4

    dealing with those universities

    Those Universities ARE churches!!!!!
    (2nd attempt at posting)

  5. #5

    dealing with those universities

    Universities can however give significant benefits to the city. I know in DC that universities like George Washington and Georgetown get pretty easy land deals, have plans fast-tracked through the zoning board and other similar benefits. However, GW is in fact the 2nd largest employer in DC behind the government (or maybe it is the largest private employer, I forget) so I suppose it is in the city's best interest to help them as much as possible. I think many cities have dreams of becoming "college towns" complete with a prestigious university, and the only way to have this happen (or maybe the easiest way), is to coddle whatever colleges exist in their city.

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