The White Plains Common Council unanimously adopted the French-American School of New York’s (FASNY) scoping document for its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) at its meeting Monday, calling it one of the most comprehensive documents the City has ever seen.
“This is an extremely thorough scoping document that has been prepared,” said Council President Benjamin Boykin. “It’s probably one of the most detailed scoping documents that we’ve had in the City.”
FASNY is looking to build a daycare and nursery school through twelfth grade campus at the former site, which would require a special permit granted by the council. The project requires FASNY to study the impact its project through a series of environmental impact statements.
Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel said FASNY originally submitted a 16-page document on May 20. She then reviewed, modified and expanded the scope to 37-pages. Comments from various departments, boards and commissioners were later included. That copy was sent to FASNY along with public comments submitted before the Nov. 4 deadline, so that the school could prepare a document to submit to the council for its review at a .
“This document has gone through a very intensive review by the public, City staff, common council and FASNY,” said Habel. “I commend the public for the comments received, as they were very constructive.”
The council’s comments along with a few corrections, which were brought to the City’s attention, were added to the final scoping document that was approved Monday.
Terence Guerriere—president of the Gedney Association, a neighborhood association that is opposed to the development—said the association was pleased that the council took the scoping document process so seriously, which resulted in a thorough document. While the association praised the council, some criticized FASNY's efforts.
“What’s important is to look at the minimal scoping document that FASNY put in,” said Padraic Lee, whose abuts the former golf course. “It’s a view behind the FASNY curtain of what they really think about the neighborhood and think about the City with a barebones scoping document. It’s shows their lack of concern for the city. The council mentioned this was a relatively thorough scoping document, and the reason they did that is to let the taxpayers know that FASNY isn’t going to roll over the taxpayers of White Plains.”
FASNY denies deliberately leaving information out of their scoping document.
“That is completely ridiculous and untrue. We had a cooperative working relationship with the City in preparing the scope,” said Michael Zarin, FASNY’s attorney. “We met and discussed various sections, and worked very well together in agreeing upon the final document presented to the council. Everyone believes that it is a comprehensive and first-rate document. We look forward now to preparing the DEIS in accordance with said scope. The process worked fine, no contentiousness or drama.”