lohud.com reports.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,
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.