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Gedney Farm Neighbors Sue City Over French-American School Plans

The White Plains Common Council approved the findings statement for the French American School of New York's proposal for a campus on the old Ridgeway Country Club in December—and now the Gedney Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the city's vote, lohud.com reports. 

FASNY wants to build a campus with an 83-acre open space conservancy on the former country club, located off Ridgeway and North Street in White Plains. 

The neighbors object to the prospect of a busy school campus replacing the moribund club, citing traffic and flooding issues as well as the size of the school in a residential neighborhood. They also believe the city's review of the potential impacts of the school was flawed. 

"We're asking that the court re-examine the environmental review process to make sure that it was applied properly to this application," Gedney Association President Terrence Guerriere told reporter Rich Liebson of The Journal News.

The findings statement was the last step in the state environmental process for the project. FASNY must now gain site plan approval and the Common Council must now make a final decision on granting a special permit for the project.

FASNY issued this statement through spokesman Geoff Thompson:

The study and scope of the environmental review of our school’s planned campus on the defunct Ridgeway Country Club property was the most thorough ever conducted by the City of White Plains. This multi-year, multi-million dollar review constitutes thousands of pages and encompasses virtually every conceivable aspect of the plan and its potential impacts. The 
Findings Statement alone is 129 single-spaced pages, involved more than two years of public review and environmental analysis and was adopted by a 6-1 vote.

The plan approved under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA): significantly reduces traffic overall; shifts school traffic to a main arterial roadway (North Street); requires mandatory busing for eligible students; limits the total number of students; approves 75-plus acres for a permanent publicly accessible conservancy with pedestrian and open space 
linkages; extensively incorporates green technology and building practices; and incorporates a myriad of other positive features and designs minimizing the impact of the school.

While we are disturbed to see the personal attacks against individual Common Council members that are contained in the lawsuit, we are confident in the process that has been followed in the review of the plan. We are proceeding in advancing all of our applications and plans. The lawsuit will not delay the City’s review of the Site Plan or Special Permit. Few if any 
environmental reviews of this kind have ever been overturned by the courts.

As we respond to the lawsuit, we will continue to reach out and work with the many supporters of the school both in the Gedney neighborhood and across the city, and we look forward to joining the many high-quality educational entities that are privileged to call White Plains home.


worriedinwp March 22, 2014 at 03:08 PM
Where they should or should not send their kids to school is not the issue. This is a major development in a residential neighborhood PERIOD. They admitted infront of the editorial board of the Gannett paper there was no time to do due diligence as Ridgeway wanted a quick sale. They took a risk and a neighborhood should not have to pay. We have a very weak council and mayor who is allowing Callahan to call all the shots. Callahan is the man behind the curtain as well as Silverberg. They keep pushing this falacy you can not say no to a school and it simply is not true. If anyone listens to Beth Smayda at the special council meeting of Dec 19 she sounds as though she is a paid spokesperson for FASNY. What is her motive? Which she had let her views known before the election. BETH SMAYDA, BAD FOR WHITE PLAINS!
Eve Kunstler March 22, 2014 at 09:10 PM
Mr. Seidel, I've noticed a pattern of not staying on subject when it comes to your postings and musings regarding the situation with FASNY. Obamacare does provide help for these types of situations. Stay focused, eyes on the prize.
Dan Seidel March 23, 2014 at 08:19 AM
just throwing diatribe, Eve. :>) love picking on Obamacare whenever I can - it's an anti democRAT thing - salty thumb in the eye. But FASNY is just like Obamacare - major deceit, probable fraud, outright lies, sounds like a lot of money was spread around to get it passed, and it will cost us big time. I see great similarities - brought to you by the Soros democRATS.
Dan Seidel March 23, 2014 at 08:23 AM
PS: I was raised on Alinsky (Obamanation tactics) - always demonize your opponents - total war.

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