[VIDEO] League of Women Voters of White Plains Holds FASNY Forum

The forum, held at the former Ridgeway Country Club clubhouse on Thursday, was the first to include members of both the French-American School of New York and the Gedney Association

  • Correction: The comprehensive plan state that the Ridgeway Country Club site should be maintained as open space or a golf course. If that is not possible, then it can be single family housing

The Ridgeway Country clubhouse was packed Thursday—with people who seemed to mostly oppose to the  to build a campus on the former property—for an informational forum on the project, held by the League of Women Voters of White Plains (LWVWP).

League President Madeline Zevon said the forum was held as a public service, and “so that we may better understand the facts and issues surrounding the proposed French American School in White Plains.”

A video of forum—which was moderated by Carolyn Stevens, former Scarsdale mayor and Westchester County League of Women Voters’ county financial officer —will be published on the City’s website and the LWVWP site.

Steven Silverberg, who was retained as legal counsel by the City of White Plains to assist with its state environmental review process application (SEQRA) for a study on the city’s open space, first gave an overview of FASNY’s application process for its project.

Silverberg explained that FASNY must go through the regular site plan approvals, as well as submit for a special permit. A school is currently not a permitted use under the zoning code, however a school is permitted if a special permit is approved by the White Plains Common Council.

The City’s comprehensive plan states that if the former Ridgeway Country Club cannot be maintained as open space or a golf course, it should be turned into low density single family housing.

The City has already held . FASNY will take comments from the hearing and the City and finalize the scope for the DEIS, which the council will most likely adopt in December.

FASNY will then prepare the DEIS. Once the City decides the DEIS is complete, it will hold public hearings on the DEIS. Those comments will be taken into consideration, and from that FASNY will draft a final environmental impact statement (FEIS). Once the City approves the FEIS, it will hold additional public hearings on the special permit and site plan.

“So there will be lots of public input on the process,” said Silverberg.

The forum was the first to include a representative from both FASNY and the Gedney Association, a neighborhood organization that is

Robert Stackpole, board member of the Gedney Association, and Michael Zarin, FASNY’s lawyer, had the opportunity to make opening and closing statements, as well as answer questions submitted by the audience.

Click on our video to watch the opening and closing statements, and check back with the WPLWV to see the video in its entirety. 

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Joan's WP November 11, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Dina, the room was packed with easily 200 people, not dozens. Most were opposed to FASNY. Very few FASNY supporters/parents were visible. This just indicates to me that they have no interest in hearing our concerns, as we remain an impediment to their big "dream."
Dina Sciortino November 11, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Many dozens...and yes they were mostly opposed as stated in the article
Fran November 11, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Because of the Moratorium Silverberg should not have been there in the first place (and at tax payer expense) but if he truly said what this article indicates, he needs to further study the Comprehensive Plan. It does not exactly state "that if the former Ridgeway CC cannot be maintained as a golf course, it should be turned into low density single family housing." It allows that as a possibility, but after all efforts to preserve the existing open space have failed. The Comprehensive Plan does not disallow uses that would maintain open space, such as Stone Barns type operation.
Dina Sciortino November 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Don't remember if he mentioned open space part, but I added that. And yes you are correct, if it can't be a golf course or open space then it can be single family housing. Thank you for the clarification.


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