The White Plains Examiner

50-Year Building Moratorium Proposed for Part of FASNY Site

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The White Plains Common Council called a special meeting Oct. 23 to discuss the status of the French American School of New York (FASNY) Special Permit to operate a private school and amended Site Plan at the location of the former Ridgeway Country Club in the Gedney Farms neighborhood.

Planning Commissioner Christopher Gomez outlined the process thus far, with the Council now supplied with a Draft Environmental Resolution and approval based on the Sept. 29 approval of a Stormwater Prevention Plan (SWIPP) by the Commissioner of Public Works and Oct. 18 approval by the Planning Board.

The amended plan features a reduced student population of 640 in grades 6-12 located solely on 27.7-acre Parcel A. Access to the site is from Ridgeway via Hathaway Lane.

Concerned that the approval document does not include any information about building plans for parcels B, C and D, which had been part of the original application, Councilwoman Nadine Hunt-Robinson proposed a 50-year moratorium on building on those parcels.

Councilman Dennis Krolian inquired about the recourse the city might have if the school was not in compliance with the limit of 415 total vehicle trips in and out of the property during peak travel hours. Krolian specifically asked if police would be onsite to monitor the situation.

According to the traffic commissioner, the vehicle trips would be counted electronically and possibly videotaped. The school would be in violation if more than 415 cars entered and exited more than three times in any given month. Times of peak operation are 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. on school days.

Emergency vehicle response times were noted as being the same as when the golf club had been at the location.

Because the site had been determined as an environmentally sensitive site in March 2017, caution was advised that it can take decades to realize the negative impacts a development might have, giving further weight to the 50-year moratorium suggestion.

It was considered that a new Comprehensive Plan should be in place to advise on any future development of the property within a 50-year stretch.

Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona requested that traffic consulting company TRC be engaged once again to study the proposed traffic plan.

The final vote on the revised FASNY plan is expected to take place before the end of the year.

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