According Siegel’s January 21, 2009 petition:
“There is no legal precedent recognizing private institutions of higher education as a civic facility, or an entity carrying out a community, municipal, public service, or other civic purpose. The term `civic’ implies use and participation of the public, and has heretofore required at least use by invitees from the public.
“A private university, with selective admission, charging high tuition, and offering its graduates valuable credentials for their private advantage, cannot qualify as a civic facility or provider of a civic purpose. If it did, there is no project sought by or benefiting…any land hungry private university that would not also qualify as a `civic purpose.’.
“In so far as `educational’ services or purposes can constitute civic purposes, the education must be for public education, open to the public, and subject to public governance.
“Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC]’s finding of need for educational facilities in New York City and State is made in bad faith, and without rational basis, for it has not established any public duty to provide private university facilities…”