[POLL] Should FASNY Build a Campus at the Ridgeway Country Club?

Do you think the French-American School of New York should build a campus on the former Ridgeway County Club? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Tonight the League of Women Voters will host the first joint forum on the French-American School of New York's (FASNY) plans to build a school campus—that would include nursery school throughout twelfth grade—on the former , which it purchased in January.

Click for a story on the plans for the project.

At 7 p.m. at the former Ridgeway Country Club, 400 Ridgeway, both FASNY and members of the Gedney Association, who have expressed to the project, will speak at the forum.

City officials will also attend the meeting to explain FASNY’s application process, which requires them to get a special permit to run the school that has to be approved by the White Plains Common Council.

For more information click , call 914.761.4382 or visit www.LWVWP.org.

As the date of forum drew closer—more anti-FASNY lawn signs and bumpers stickers appeared throughout White Plains, while some report that their signs are being stolen off their lawns.

What do you think of FASNY’s plans for the project? Take our poll and tell us in the comments. 

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Adrienne November 14, 2011 at 04:14 AM
I thought I saw something indicating she was on FASNY board but can no longer find this. Is she on FASNY board? If so, I agree she should have disclosed this.
Adrienne November 14, 2011 at 05:11 AM
I see that neighbors have some very legitimate concerns about FASNY project. I have questions about public access to their proposed Gedney Preserve. I understand environmental concerns as well. However, the refusal to even try to negotiate these with FASNY and the Common Council (e.g. get them to scale back the size of the project) to try to come up with solutions to their concerns and just outright dismissal of FASNY is very disturbing, as is talk of using eminent domain to force them to accept a buyout (basically riding them out on a rail). After hearing again and again that a major concern about FASNY is that will not be paying taxes, I posted a response to this board saying that proposed open space plan where White Plains would buy property would also not provide tax revenue, someone posted in response that the tax issue was not a major one. If so, then why do I hear this argument raised so often? As for no trespassing signs being hostile, I posted concerns that the anti-FASNY signs are pretty hostile themselves, though certainly within everyone's right to display. Just as neighbors opposed to FASNY are free to post their signs, so should FASNY be free to post their no trespassing signs.
Joan's WP November 14, 2011 at 05:56 AM
Adrienne, you have totally misinterpreted my point. Yes, the club had to sell because of its financial condition and closed its doors upon sale to FASNY. I never said or implied that FASNY put the club out of business. I was merely objecting to their continued use of the word "defunct" whenever they mention the former golf club, because they use it as a pejorative.
Joan's WP November 14, 2011 at 06:10 AM
Adrienne, do you live in White Plains? You don't seem to know the history of its schools. Both the German School and the Solomon Schecter school were public elementary schools before the city sold them to these private schools. The German School was originally the North St. School, and Solomon Schecter was the Rosedale School.
Joan's WP November 14, 2011 at 06:16 AM
You hear the frequent mention of FASNY as tax exempt because it affects every single taxpayer in White Plains, and is a legitimate issue to raise, though obviously, not the only issue nor is it the most important issue. It is one, however, that people understand because it is a citywide issue.
Dan Seidel November 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Morning, "group"! The decisions cited are not exclusive and the language is not 100% in favor of or against - a balancing test is applied by the Courts. Now add to the mix Bonnie Briar - there are several alternatives and probably more if we think hard. The Open Space Recreational District was the original rezoning proposal (see DGEIS comments. The expanision of that concept into one of a horticultural center, etc., is another alternative (although included within the original legislation allowed uses). Eminent Domain seems to be the land use tool in vogue now to maintain open space, environmental balance and "harmony" within munis that are developing in haphazard ways and not accounting for the needs of the residents/tax payers. The cases state that a muni cannot DENY THE RIGHT TO APPLY for a permit to a chool or a religious institution (see RLUIPA - specific statutory authority, not the "common law" variety cited to by Zarin - there IS no such statute for schools, hence the legislative intent was not to do so - seems religion trumps schools). The Special Permit is just that, and our Zoning Code presents, like all others, very specific hurdles that must be passed to protect the neighborhoods where the Special Permit is sought (6.5.3). So welcome to the 100 Years War - clash of the titans! I think White plains will make law - Bonnie Briar trumps Cornell, more so in today's age of emergent need for conservation and preservation of residential neighborhoods. We'll see.....
Adrienne November 14, 2011 at 04:03 PM
In answer to Joan WP -- Yes, I do live in White Plains, just a few blocks from the Ridgeway site. I do thank you for the background information on the German School and the Solomon Schecter School. I also want to restate that I have absolutely zero connection with the French American School.
Linda J. Eisen November 14, 2011 at 04:58 PM
To Michael and anyone who has remarked that we are against this project for reasons other than it's size and that it is just too much of an invasion in what all agree for tons of enviornmental, noise etc.traffic reasons, well that's just bogus.Yes we have the German school, the Japanese school, several public schools, and at one time we had 9 elelmentary 2 middle schools, and of course White Plains High school. Not to mention the pre schools in White Plains as well as Stepinac, and if I forgot any, I'm sure I did, but not intentionally. Diverse are we, and to say this is something per se against the French, well that's just ridiculous. It's something against what never should have happened in the first place in a residential neighborhood. I would be fighting just as hard if for instance any of the Open spaces behind Beverly,Reynal, Hewitt, Baldwin farm, at the North end were being adversly developed. As a realtor who is on this site, and making reamrks on a daily basis,frankly, I guess I should just sit the fence like some are doing for fear of being rejected when and if one of the proponents have me in for a listing presentation. But I just can't do that. 3 years of French in High School which came in real handy when visiting France on several occassions. This is not "The Ugly American" failing to open our arms to foreigners. It's just the wrong project in the wrong place. We need to get our neighbors to once and for all--GET who is ugly.who is diacritical, who is elitest
Honestly November 15, 2011 at 02:49 AM
As a WP resident, I wanted to learn more about the FASNY/Ridgeway proposal and dispute. Someone suggested I read the Patch for details. I was told I could also find links to cases and other source documents, but I was warned about encountering rather hideous comments posted in the feedback section. Honestly, I was shocked, offended and terribly disappointed by the vitriolic screed of hatred in several posts above. From my Jewish education I know that the French government was no friend of the Jews during WWII. Sadly, it was one of the world's ugliest periods of open anti-semitism. How unfortunate it is that a few WP residents would drag a legitimate forum in such a grotesque direction ("Board the train for relocation to the east!") Connecting the FASNY families to what happened 70 years ago in Europe is disgraceful. I am strongly inclined against the FASNY proposal, for many of the legitimate reasons noted above. I was looking for source docs to review, and I appreciate the access to those materials. Make no mistake, I also appreciate the knowledge and dedication of the anti-FASNY activists. But, this is devolving to ad hominem bigotry. Information is extremely helpful. And, yes, please expose the arrogance and deception of FASNY's tactics. Thank you! But when WP residents come to this website to sort out their opinions about the FASNY project, recruit them with useful information. Don't scare them away with hatred.
Dan Seidel November 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM
I guess some people find my humor off the charts. I'm not a "p.c". Eloi - never was. The French "were not a friend"? That is a real understatement. My cousins are in the process of getting out with their property before we get Holocaust #2. France is not a healthy place to live for enlightened, secular, civilized people anymore. Anyway, back to the French school attempts - always happy to provide real detailed data, cases and intel to share and link to. More to come.
Linda J. Eisen November 16, 2011 at 05:01 PM
I received an email this morning asking if I removed one of my comments, and of course, as opposing as I have been to the FASNY project for reasons not per se scientific, but more how it will effect negatively the city as a whole, and real Estate values, I see that my comment inquiring why someone who lives 1/4 mile from the proposed project would be so "for it" I did ask since it seemd to me she was not just a neighbor, but someone more related to the FASNY group with an agenda, Not all the comments were removed, but yes, for some reason mine was, by who, I really don't know and why I don't know either. I have found this site prior to, a good forum for discussion and debate, but I am singing off and will try to not submit any more comments, due to the fact that perhaps there is a bias here and not one that understands why we who are passionate about our neighborhood would take offense and be puzzeled at those who call us elitist and seem to know how deep are our pockets. Guess that's all right, but asking if someone, not that it's realevant, happens to be French, is not all right.
Dan Seidel November 18, 2011 at 09:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msdndrWHktQ&feature=related Short YouTube on what the County did for Bonnie Briar CC - stormwater, Sheldrake/Mam'k Rivers. From today's Soil & Water Conservation BD Meeting. Does anyone have vision besides a few of us? Think outside the box?
John Raymond December 04, 2011 at 02:03 AM
It's all a conspiracy!!!. How could it be legitimate that 73% Voted in favor of FASNY in White Plains and only 25% Voted against FASNY? Of course, FASNY had to have cheated the system. They must have voted multiple times.....not Go ahead and try to vote a second time. You can not. No one can. Including all the FASNY conspirators. Judging by the sheer volume of anti-FASNY comments from a very vocal minority, you would think if anyone is stuffing the ballot box it may be them. But they cannot either. So, Patch's admittedly unscientific poll seems to be at least fair in that it is One Person One Vote. Dina, is this in fact correct? Is Patch's system set up so that it is One person One vote? Data don't lie: 73% in favor, 25% opposed
Dan Seidel December 04, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Hey John? I just voted 2x - in less than 30 seconds - just have to keep banging off the site and then bang back on for another vote. In the beginning before someone had more time than me, I must have voted over 200 times. Then the French School shills ramped it up in several minutes. I gave up the contest. Happy now?
Yvonne Gumowitz December 04, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Mr. Raymond is clearly a technical neophyte, unaware of the browser refresh requirement... "data don't lie"? Statistics lie all the time!
Dina Sciortino December 05, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Hi everyone! Yes, you can vote several times. The poll is not scientific.
Dina Sciortino December 05, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Thanks Dan I will add the YouTube clip to this article
Susan Katz January 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Susan Katz - I was born and raised in the City of White Plains, graduated from all the public schools, and have lived here since. I have been involved in a multitude of things in White Plains from the arts to politics (having worked for the City for 29 years and my dad being City Marshall for more than 30 years). I grew up watching the various transitions in our City, among them the sale of public schools to private entities, and we've always been the better for it. I think the French American School would be a wonderful asset to the City and I think we should think about the positivies, rather than the negatives. One suggestion I would have, however, is that they consider the addition of a cooking school and French restaurant to the project. I live in the south end of White Plains and I'm not the least bit concerned about traffic. Leave that issue up to the professionals at the Traffic Department for the City of White Plains. So come on neighbors and friends, let's welcome them with open arms.
Joseph January 16, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Great...a French restaurant and a cooking school to add to the 2500+ additional cars and buses FASNY would bring onto Ridgeway every day...!
LOVE MY WP January 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Don't think so. The negatives outweigh the positives because I can't think of any positives. But stay in your bubble where everything is rosy and everyone speaks truths. I'm also a WP lifer and I think this would be an awful addition to the city on this land.
Joan's WP January 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Wow, you should take off your rose colored glasses. This is a gigantic project which is too large for the area as well as being inappropriate. Do you live on Ridgeway? I doubt it because if you did, you wouldn't be so unconcerned about the traffic. Perhaps you can suggest a way to direct the school-related traffic past your house, since you don't think it's a problem. You would also add a culinary school and a restaurant to this project. You are suggesting making an already huge project even bigger with even more traffic. I am sorry to say this but I think you are thinking with your stomach and not your head.
AMC January 17, 2012 at 06:02 AM
At the risk of appearing paranoid but it reads like FASNY is getting getting a little worried about the pushback from WP...Susan Katz no doubt has some FASNY agenda/connection/job...hopefully the council will remember the adage that 'All politics is local' as Tip O'Neill characterized our local version of the cattlerustlers vs. the ranchers.
Dan Seidel January 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Susan comes to this party very late - odds are she has not seen nor read AT ALL, nor cares to, the various analyses and discussions contained within the hundreds if not thousands of comments since 2008/09 on Ridgeway (the environmental concerns, Comprehensive Plans, postings on the City website, Scoping Docs, School application, Army Corp of Engineers 2010-2013 flood study, COunty plans/studies, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.). Susan sounds like she belongs in MAD magazine - one of those cartoon drawings of a brainwashed woman wearing oversized shoes with those "Star" glasses on, blinding her from all reality, stumbling forward with a medicated smile. I am really really fearing for our future - with the world starting to catch fire, the abject educational ignorance of our youth and then local shills like Susan spewing utter nonsense - we are truly doomed. How about an intelligent addition to this discussion of the various issues and alternatives/innovations from out of the box thinking? Read the docs, Susan. Then decide if you wish to make an educated statement that adds something to this conversation. It's all about credibility and hard data and analysis here. Cupcakes and balloons can come later.
worriedinwp January 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Sue Katz use to work for the traffic department in WP....for her to say she is not concerned about traffic and traffic is one of the major concerned the city of WP has isolated can only make one wonder where she is coming from. Then there is her husband who is the co-owner or co something to Bailey's Citizen Net Reporter (which is only accurate about 1/3 of the time) and a public access tv show. The media should be smart enough to at least appear to be unbiased. See Geoff Thompson has done what he does the best...bought Sue and her husband!!
worriedinwp January 17, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Oh....SUE DOES HAVE A GREAT IDEA....THE SALE OF A SCHOOL TO A PRIVATE ENTITY!! I think that would be a great idea....FASNY, sell now!! By the way, Sue does not live in this neighborhood...of course she would love to go to a French Restaurant in someone elses neighborhood and then go back to her own. This neighborhood is not zoned for a restaurant Sue...or did you miss that during your years of working for the city!
Hugh Marshall June 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM
I've lived on Murchison Place for 32 years. I have nothing to do with FASNY. But I'm 100% in favor of the school. Why don't you attack my "creds"? Hugh Marshall 17 Murchison Place
Hugh Marshall June 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM
I don't work for Mischa Zabotin. But I'm in favor of FASNY. I've lived in Gedney Farms for 32 years. Are you going to call me "these people" too? Hugh Marshall 17 Murchison Place
Hugh Marshall June 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM
What am I misrepresenting, Joan of WP? I'm in favor of FASNY. I've lived in Gedney Farms for 32 years. And here's my real name and address: Hugh Marshall 17 Murchison Place
Joan's WP July 03, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Hugh Marshall, since you keep repeating basically the same thing in your comments, it appears that you have only one message. Why bother?
Beth Wallach September 06, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Amen to that!


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