WHITE PLAINS WEEK PRE-ELECTION SPECIAL TONIGHT 7:30 PM AND LATER ON THE INTERNET

TONIGHT

WHITE PLAINS WEEK

PETER KATZ AND JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEW

STATE SENATOR GEORGE LATIMER

CANDIDATE FOR THE 37TH NEW YORK STATE SENATE DISTRICT.

White Plains Week - October 31

See WHITE PLAINS WEEK on VERIZON FIOS COUNTYWIDE AT CHANNEL 45 or in White Plains on Cablevision Channel 76 7:30 PM WITH GEORGE LATIMER as Guest, interviewed on the issues.

AND ON

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

WHERE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY HAVE THEIR SAY”

White Plains Week People to be Heard - Terrence Guerrier

YOU’VE GOT

TERENCE GUERRIER

White Plains Week People to be Heard - Terrence Guerrier

John Bailey, left, and Peter Katz interview Terence Guerriere, candidate for Common Council in Tuesday’s election for the 2015 year to fill Benjamin Boykin’s seat. The interview can be seen on television Monday evening at 10 PM or on the internet this evening by downloading the program from www.whiteplainsweek.com

CANDIDATE FOR COMMON COUNCIL

ON THE ISSUES:

DEVELOPMENT

PARKING

COUNCILMAN RESPONSIBILITY TO BE PROACTIVE

CITY TRANSPARENCY

FASNY

AND MORE

DOWNLOAD BOTH PROGRAMS LATER THIS EVENING AT

www.whiteplainsweek.com

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Playland Ice Casino Reopens. Biederman Playland Analysis Due “Later this Fall.”

Droppuckpic


Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino drops a ceremonial puck between Manhattan College hockey players at the reopening of the Playland Ice Casino Thursday

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (EDITED) October 31, 2014 UPDATED WITH KAY PARKER COMMENTS 8:15 A.M.:

Surrounded by skaters and hockey players, Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino threw down a ceremonial puck on center ice Thursday to mark the reopening of the famed Ice Casino at Playland, which had to be closed after suffering severe damage from Superstorm Sandy two years ago to the day.

Other announcements about the further re-invention of Playland included the information that  a review of current park operations and future opportunities will be completed by Dan Biederman, “later this fall.”

Mr. Biederman, is an internationally recognized leader in urban and public space management, whose accomplishments include the restoration of Bryant Park in New York City.  (Editor’s note: Mr. Biederman is also the former principal advisor to Sustainable Playland, the organization previously the Astorino choice to develop Playland which opted to withdraw their application to run the amusement park. )

County Legislator Kay Parker of Rye said the repairs took too long and should be speeded up: “Two years after damage incurred from Superstorm Sandy, the entire north boardwalk is still closed to the public and fenced off because it is still in a state of destruction, which is unacceptable,” said Parker. “The Administration has tried to characterize the necessary repair work at Playland as being ‘ahead of schedule,’ but other municipalities, including New York City, have fixed and renovated their storm-ruined structures long ago.”

Parker visited Playland earlier this week, and the wrecked remnants of the boardwalk are clearly visible, she said, with much of the torn apart planking yet to be removed. Contracts to make the repairs have not even been put out to bid.

“The Administration has simply put a fence around the damaged boardwalk,” Parker said, adding that county residents wanting to visit Playland and stroll along the boardwalk up to the Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary have to detour through the parking lot.

A good deal of regular maintenance of Playland, like painting and paving work, is not being completed on an annual basis either, Parker also noted, giving the park a sense of general deterioration.

“I think it’s shameful that County Executive Astorino would talk about preserving Playland and modernizing its facilities on one side of the park while clearly neglecting the park as a whole,” Parker said. “A short walk from his photo-op today the boardwalk is still in shambles. While I’m pleased that residents will finally able to skate once again at the Ice Casino, the reality here is that this project is 365 days late and nearly two million dollars of anticipated revenue short.”

The Ice Casino is now being operated as Playland Ice under an agreement with American Skating, the largest independent owner/operator of ice rinks in the United States. The 10-year agreement with American Skating, which includes an option to renew for an additional 10 years, included an upfront payment of $300,000 this year; a base payment  of $250,000 commencing in 2015, which will increase by 2% each year thereafter; utilities and maintenance payments of $425,000 annually; and 25 percent of the gross revenue above $1.6 million annually.

IceCasinopic

Rob Astorino (at podium) is joined by Shane Coppola, Chairman and CEO of American Skating Entertainment Centers; Jon Strauss, President of Manhattanville Colle; Mike Richter, legendary former goaltender for the New York Rangers; members of the Men’s and Women’s hockey team from Manhattanville College; and local youth hockey players and figure skaters.

“Our Ice Casino at Playland is like a great athlete,” Astorino said. “When it gets knocked down, it gets up and comes back stronger than ever. Now with our new partner, American Skating Entertainment Centers, joining us, slap shots, double axles, triple toeloops, thrills, spills and lots of family fun will be here at the Ice Casino for many years to come.”

On the evening of October 29 and into the morning of October 30, 2012, Superstorm Sandy tore up the East Coast leaving billions of dollars of damage in its wake. Playland Park and the Ice Casino, which sit right on the Long Island Sound in Rye, were hit hard. Now with a $4.9 million renovation project complete, the 85-year old Ice Casino is once again open to the public and its renowned Art Deco architecture, distinguished by a high-vaulted roof with crisscrossing wooden beams, has been fully preserved.

“Our vision for the Ice Casino is the same as our vision for Playland,” Astorino said. “Preserve the best traditions and modernize the facilities and attractions so the park can have a strong future both in terms of fun and finances. Teaming up with American Skating – a great Westchester company and one of the leading ice rink operators in the United States – helps us do just that.”

As the new operator, American Skating will invest $640,000 of its money into the building over the next 18 months for capital improvements. This money will go largely toward refurbishing and modernizing the interior with upgraded floors, lighting, electronics, bathrooms, locker rooms and guest services areas.

“We are honored to play a role in the vision to re-invent Playland,” said Shane Coppola, chairman and CEO of American Skating Entertainment Centers. “American Skating is committed to making Playland a world-class destination for figure skating and hockey programs by providing outstanding customer service, improving operating efficiencies, and making significant investments to upgrade our iconic facility.  We are excited to be working with some of the most successful hockey and skating programs in New York.”

One of those programs is the men’s and women’s hockey teams from Manhattanville College, whose players were on hand for the reopening of the rink and arena.

Other returning groups and teams include the Westchester Dragons/Mariners, Rye Rangers, New Rochelle Lightning, Hockey North America, Rye Figure Skating Club, Westchester Vipers, HVHL Mite League, Rye High School, Fordham Prep, Nates Euro Hockey, Rye Town Titans and the synchronized skating team based in Westchester County, Team Image.

 

 

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Commissioner of Public Safety: Rosedale Monday car crimes work of Organized Ring Targeting Neighborhoods Throughout Metro Area. Advises: Lock cars. Turn on motion-detectors. Share Surveillance Video

WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. October 30, 2014: The President of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association, Patrick Sevcik, responding to a WPCNR reachout, forwarded the following information he has just received from White Plains Commissioner of Public Safety, David Chong on the background behind the stolen cars and car break-ins that rippled across the Rosedale area Monday night:

According to Commissioner Chong:

“Four vehicles were stolen from driveways, and an additional five vehicles had property stolen that were left in the vehicles . None of the vehicles suffered smashed windshields etc.

Our investigation reveals a few leads and is very active at this time. These incidents have occurred occasionally in other surrounding communities, in NYC, Westchester, and Rockland. We are coordinating with NYPD auto crime and the intelligence center.

The method of operations used seems to be one vehicle with up to five or six persons and a driver that comes into a neighborhood randomly.

The persons are dropped off and just walk the streets checking parked vehicles in driveways. Again the vehicles are not forcibly broken into, they are left UNLOCKED some with the keys or starter FOB’S in them. This is a simple theft! Other vehicles were left unlocked with valuables in plain sight such as cell phones, laptops, purses, etc.

I reiterate that these are opportunist criminals, if the car is secured, or in a lighted spot, they just go to the next vehicle.

As we investigate these crimes I ask that anyone with outdoor video, please check your systems for the early morning hours of Tuesday the 28th. Even if your car was not broken into you may have valuable video for us.

I also urge you all to lock your car doors and not leave your keys in the cars. Also please remove or hide valuable items such as I-phones, laptops, purses, packages, etc . We are a very safe city and I understand the convenience, but we must all do our part to make it as difficult as possible for these opportunist criminals to steal from our automobiles or our homes.

You will see an increased police presence in your neighborhood and there will be unmarked plain clothes officers in the area. We believe these thieves have moved on, but I want to reassure you that you are safe.

The investigation is on-going and we have some leads, if you have any video or saw something that morning, please contact our Detective Division at 914-422-6200. All calls will be kept confidential.

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NYCLU Charges School Districts Denying Education to Immigrant Children

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the New York Civil Liberties Union. (EDITED)October 30, 2014:

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released findings from a review of approximately 20 percent of New York State school districts revealing that the majority of those districts may be unlawfully barring the enrollment of immigrant students.

The survey comes on the heels of a statewide study by the NYCLU in 2010 which found that one-in-five school districts were putting up illegal barriers to immigrant youth. After recent allegations that a Long Island school district was preventing dozens of Latino children from receiving an education, the NYCLU reviewed the policies of the 139 offending school districts and found many are still out of compliance with the law.

Editor’s Note: The White Plains Acting Superintendent of Schools, Timothy P. Connors, stated today that the White Plains City School District is currently educating 3 “unaccompanied (by adults across the border)” children in White Plains schools at the present time

Today’s survey demonstrates that the State Education Department (SED) has failed to enforce its own guidelines regarding immigrant student enrollment, despite being aware of the problems for years.

“All children have an equal right to a public school education, regardless of their immigration status,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “The NYCLU has presented data to the State Education Department for years showing that many districts across the state are discriminating against immigrant children and preventing them from enrolling in schools. It’s shocking that the SED has not acted sooner or more decisively to guarantee the right of all New York children to an education.”

The Supreme Court in 1982 ruled that states violate the 14th Amendment when they deny undocumented children the same educational opportunity that they provide to citizens.

New York State Education Law further guarantees a free public education to youth older than 5 and younger than 21 who have not earned a high school diploma.

Though state schools may inquire about a student’s age and address, they break the law if they ask about a student or parent’s immigration status, require birth certificates as proof of a child’s age or otherwise impose requirements that would chill a student’s willingness to engage with the school.


In New York State, many immigrant children are unable to attend school despite efforts by their relatives and parents to enroll them because of onerous and likely unlawful immigration barriers. The NYCLU’s findings show that:

  • 73 school districts, including 25 in the New York City metro area with high immigrant populations, require birth certificates for enrollment. Nineteen of those school districts specify they require the “original” birth certificate.
  • 22 school districts, including 13 districts in the New York City metro area, ask for students’ date of entry into the United States at enrollment.
  • 16 school districts require a student’s immigration status for enrollment.
  • 10 school districts require social security cards for enrollment.
  • Six districts ask students whether they are a “migrant worker” at enrollment.
  • Nine school districts ask students whether or not they are U.S. citizens in enrollment.
  • Unnecessarily restrictive proof of residence requirements – which can be an impossible barrier for an immigrant family – was pervasive across all districts. 

The NYCLU issued a letter this week to the SED and state attorney general urging the creation of a model universal enrollment form and list of permissible evidentiary documents, a recommendation that the NYCLU first made in 2010 after its report found enrollment barriers in one-in-five of the state’s 694 districts.

Last week, following media reports that more than 30 Latino students in Hempstead had been signing in for attendance a few times each week, only to be told to return home, the state attorney general’s office and the SED announced they would conduct a compliance review of school district enrollment policies for undocumented students to examine whether students are being denied their constitutional right to an education.

“While  the state attorney general’s office and the SED are taking the right steps by promising to undertake a compliance review, the fact of the matter is that the SED has known for years that nearly 20 percent of its districts are preventing immigrant students from enrolling in schools,” said NYCLU Advocacy Director Johanna Miller. “Requiring proof of a child’s immigration status in order to register for school creates an impermissible barrier to an education. No child should be deprived of an education while we’re waiting for the SED to act.”

See a model school enrollment policy, the list of offending schools and the NYCLU’s letter at http://www.nyclu.org/news/nyclu-survey-ny-school-districts-illegally-denying-education-immigrant-children.

 

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Mike Couzins WPHS Class of 07 Moves on Up — Joins ESPN Full-time

Couzens2WPCNR LOCAL VIEW FROM THE UPPER DECK. October 30, 2014:

If you get ESPNews, you can hear and see a familiar face from White Plains– Mike Couzins — if you tune in the Houston South Florida football game this Saturday at 4 ET.

Mike Couzins, White Plains High School Graduate, Class of 2007 is moving on up to the ultimate — ESPN.

After being with the minor league Fort Wayne TinCaps as play-by-play man and Media Relations Director, writing a daily TinCaps column called It’s All Relative  and freelancing ESPN football, basketball and specializing in ESPN’s unique assignments such as telecasting Ultimate Frisbee, ESPN has been impressed enough with Mike’s versatility, quick-study, diligent work ethic, and easy-going combination of Vin Scully-esque scene-setting and ability to flow a ballgame, (a long lost art)or any event they need, the international sports  giant has hired him to a full-time contract

Mike tells WPCNR from his new home in Chicago:

“I will be calling college football, college basketball, and high school basketball.  Right now I am home, on a typical week, Monday through Thursday, travel to the site of my football game on Friday, call the game Saturday, and fly home Sunday. Right now it is just play-by-play for me..no pre-game or studio assignments.

“Football scheduling goes week by week, so my current assignment is Houston at South Florida this Saturday at 4ET on ESPNews.
I don’t yet know my basketball schedule, but I anticipate most of the games I will call will be on ESPNU.”
To read one of WPCNR’s earlier stories on Mike (“Mike at the Mike”) go to:
http://whiteplainscnr.com/wp/wp-admin/post.php?post=10115&action=edit

 

 

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New Foreclosure Filings level off. Final Foreclosure Judgments More than Double

WPCNR WESTCHESTER COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. OCTOBER 29, 2014:

The Office of the Westchester County Clerk reported one thousand seven hundred and thirty eight (1,738) foreclosure actions started between January 1st and September 30th of this year, as compared with two thousand forty two (2,042) during the same period last year.

Five hundred and sixty (560) foreclosure judgments have been entered in the first three quarters of 2014, in comparison to two hundred and thirty three (233) entered during the first three quarters of 2013.

“While a drop in new actions is a hopeful sign that the Westchester foreclosure crisis is slowing, far too many foreclosure actions still end in a judgment of foreclosure,” reported Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni who serves as Clerk of the Westchester County Supreme Court where foreclosure actions are heard.

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Cars Stolen Out of Driveways, Others broken into, “trashed” in Rosedale neighborhood

WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES. October 29, 2014:

A victim of a car break-in in the Rosedale neighborhood told WPCNR this morning that 6  Cars had been stolen out driveways, and nine vehicles vandalized and “trashed” in his words over Monday night and Tuesday morning.

He said he thought the city should be advised over the number of incidents and be made aware of the security situation in the close-to-the-Hutchinson River Parkway neighborhood.

News12 also ran a story this morning saying 4 cars had been stolen in the string of incidents.

WPCNR is awaiting comment from the Department of Public Safety on the details of the multiple incidents.

 

 

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A Letter from Michael Zarin to the Mayor and Common Council

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. October 29, 2014:

Editor’s Note: The following is the full text of a letter from Michael Zarin, attorney for The French American School of New York to the Mayor of White Plains and Common Council, that accompanied the documents submitted updating and revising the school site plan and Special Permit/Hathaway Lane closure proposal for the grounds of the former Ridgeway Country Club.

The letter, furnished to WPCNR by The French American School amplifies the materian submitted Friday and makes some legal observations about court decisions of the past on siting schools in communities related to zoning. The letter is long, but an important perspective, in the editor’s opinion on where the proposal with the changes stands now:

October 20, 2014

Mayor Thomas Roach and the Honorable Members of the Common Council

FASNY respectfully submits this Letter, together with several revised Site Plan drawings, and other documentation, including a revised, redlined Transportation Management Plan (“TMP”- Exhibit 2), Conservancy Area Master Plan (“CAMP”- Exhibit 3), Construction Management Plan (“CMP”- Exhibit 4), Hathaway Lane Discontinuance Petition (“Discontinuance Petition” – Exhibit 5”), Declaration of Covenants, Restrictions and Easement (“Declaration”- Exhibit 6) and the updated 3D Modeling as requested.  FASNY continues to make changes to its Site Plan, and offer additional amenities and commitments to the City and the community, in its good faith attempt to bring this matter to a favorable conclusion.

We would like to call your attention to several of the more notable changes, many of which are in direct response to the specific comments of the Common Council offered at your September 29, 2014 Work Session:

  • Reduction of Parking – overall parking has been reduced by another 30 total spaces from 348 to 318.  The Northern parking lot has been reduced from 130 to 80 spaces. The Central lot has been increased, but reconfigured to create two clusters of parking (55 and 75 spaces) separated by large landscaped islands. The Lower School parking lot has been reduced from 101 to 90 spaces.
  • Removed Basketball Courts – both outdoor basketball courts have been eliminated
  • Reduction in Building Square Footage – eliminated approximately 33,000 square feet by combining Upper and Middle school activities; eliminated majority of the Middle School building and converted to green space
  • Declaration of Covenants – revised per the review of Corporation and Special Counsel to include, among other changes, more definitive language regarding permitted and prohibited uses; Declaration in perpetuity, with right of first refusal to City to purchase Conservancy for $1 if Property no longer used for educational purposes; added City as Beneficiary with full enforcement powers; FASNY may not amend or modify the Declaration without consent of City and Enforcer; and only Court can remove Enforcer
  • Hathaway Lane Discontinuance (Access) – will open section of Campus driveway to public during non-School days (approximately 196 days per year) to directly access Ridgeway, and avoid diversions to local streets; met again with Fire and Police Chiefs to confirm acceptable emergency access, which is provided 24 hours per day and 365 days per year
  • Hathaway Lane Discontinuance (Location) – moved discontinuance of Hathaway Lane fifty (50) feet south of 57 Hathaway Lane’s property line to avoid any disturbance with this residence; provided an alternative emergency access to Hathaway Lane including a turn around for service vehicles
  • Enhanced Landscaping – additional landscaping at three locations to shield car lights, and additional buffers along western residential property border
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Trails– expand paved trails to width of 8 feet, as well as move trail on Parcel B from 10 feet to 50-60 feet from residential property lines
  • Construction Vehicle Deliveries – prohibit deliveries by heavy construction vehicles during White Plains High School morning and afternoon drop and pickup times, and on Mamaroneck Avenue during Ridgeway Elementary morning and afternoon drop and pickup times
  • Transportation Management Plan – more definitive monitoring and enforcement provisions and procedures, including Enrollment Agreement, Student Handbooks and other short and long term corrective measures

FASNY respectfully contends that these revisions to its Site Plan and Special Permit Applications strengthen its compliance with the Standards for Special Permit approval (Section 6.5 of the Zoning Ordinance) and Standards for Site Plan approval (Section 7.5 of the Zoning Ordinance).  FASNY also submits that it has demonstrated that it meets all the requirements of Section 4.4.25 of the Zoning Ordinance with respect to minimization of impacts to steep slopes, and Section 3.5.2 of the City Code with respect to avoidance of any impacts to City-regulated wetlands or watercourses.

Exhibit 1 attached to this Submission is a Summary Figure highlighting each of the changes described above. Below is a more detailed description of each revision, as well as responses to other comments received by FASNY. FASNY sincerely hopes that the Common Council appreciates the effort the School is making to substantively respond to and accommodate the Council’s and the community’s concerns. Many of the items include additional cost to the School and its families, and are not without consequences regarding certain educational programs.

 

Building Size Has Been Reduced By Approximately 33,000 Square Feet

Council and Planning Board members have questioned why the total building area presented in the Site Plan Application has increased in comparison to what was presented in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”). FASNY explained the rationale to the Planning Board by letter dated August 12, 2014 (on which the Council was copied), including, that the building sizes increased as the more detailed school design progressed. Notwithstanding, FASNY has agreed to increase the number of classrooms in the Upper School and combine some Middle School and High School program uses, so that the Middle School building can be reduced in size to contain only the Black Box performance space. The total square footage within the School has thus been reduced by approximately 33,000 square feet, from 262,250 square feet to 229,197 square feet. The area of the Campus previously occupied by the footprint of the Middle School building will now be additional green space.

The remaining buildings continue to comply with the Zoning Ordinance standards for Building Coverage (20% permitted, 4.2% proposed) and Floor Area Ratio (40% permitted, 5.5% proposed), and various setbacks.

FASNY believes that the size of the proposed School use, and the location of the proposed School buildings, is consistent with the requirement of Section 7.5.1 of the Zoning Ordinance that the location and size of the Special Permit “use” “will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the area in which it is located.”

FASNY further believes that the quality of architecture and overall site design will enhance and protect the character and property values of the adjacent neighborhood, as required by Section 7.5.4 of the Zoning Ordinance. It continues to bear repeating that thousands of White Plains residents currently live near schools, and the quality of life and home values in those White Plains neighborhoods do not seem to be negatively impacted.  We also note that the City’s Design Review Board in its letter dated July 3, 2014, approved “the architectural building concept(s) including materials,” and recommended Site Plan approval.

 

Parking Lots Smaller with Greater Buffer Distances

As requested during the Council’s Work Session, and in its Staff Comment Memorandum, the size of the Northern or Upper School parking lot has been reduced from 130 parking spaces to 80 parking spaces, and the Lower School parking lot from 101 parking spaces to 90 parking spaces. The more internal Central parking lot now has 130 parking spaces with increased islands for landscaping. The island essentially creates two cluster lots in the Central parking area. With the 9 parking spaces in the Service Area off of Ridgeway and 9 parking spaces adjacent to FASNY’s proposed administrative offices at 557 North Street, the total parking on the Campus will be 318 spaces. This is a net decrease of 30 more spaces than what was previously proposed in FASNY’s Site Plan, and 48 less than the FEIS North Street Modified Plan.

FASNY has provided additional detail in the Transportation Management Plan, documenting how these spaces will be used by staff, students, and visitors so as to permit the Common Council to establish and approve the amount of parking on the site in accordance with Sections 8.3 and 6.5.4 of the Zoning Ordinance. The amount of parking proposed will be of adequate size for FASNY’s particular use, and are “properly located and suitably screened from adjoining residential uses, and the entrance and exit drives [are] laid out so as to achieve maximum convenience and safety” as required by the Standards for Special Permit approval at Section 6.5.4 of the Zoning Ordinance.

FASNY contends that the location and size of the parking lots, as well as the considerable landscape screening within the parking lots and surrounding the parking lots, will mean that the operations of the parking lots and School buildings will “not be more objectionable to nearby properties by reason of noise, traffic, fumes, vibration or other characteristics than would be the operations of permitted ‘uses’ not requiring a special permit” (e.g., a public school or house of worship of similar size and scope or full scale residential subdivision) as required by Section 6.5.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

FASNY further believes that the proposed parking lots and Campus circulation plan fully comply with the specific Site Plan Standards of Section 7.5.2 and Section 7.5.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Pursuant to Section 8.7.2, “Improvement,” of the Zoning Ordinance, FASNY is hereby requesting that the Common Council permit approximately 45 parking spaces along the northwestern edge of the Northern parking lot to be graded and surfaced with grass. These spaces would only be used, if necessary, for overflow parking during smaller special events (such as, for example, an athletic event) that would occur no more than two (2) or three (3) times per month. All of the requisite drainage infrastructure for these parking spaces would be included in the stormwater management system and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) prepared for the Campus.

In addition, pursuant to Section 8.7.3 of the Zoning Ordinance, “Partial Waiver of Improvement,” FASNY is hereby requesting that the Common Council permit the land-banking of approximately fifty-five (55) parking spaces in the Central parking lot. These parking spaces represent the northern-most cluster of parking in the Central parking lot. FASNY believes that the initial staff levels when the Upper School first opens will be less than the ultimate Phase I staffing levels (approximately 138 teaching staff, administrative staff, maintenance staff, and support staff) projected in Table 2 of the Transportation Management Plan. With 173 paved parking spaces in the initial years of Upper School operation, FASNY would have 110 parking spaces for staff, 40 parking spaces for students, and 23 parking spaces for visitors (with the additional 45 overflow parking spaces also available for special event visitors). FASNY believes that the land-banking of these fifty-five (55) parking spaces would provide sufficient parking for its immediate Phase I needs.

 

Basketball Courts Have Been Removed

FASNY has heard concern expressed about the inclusion of outdoor basketball courts on its Campus. FASNY has removed the proposed basketball court adjacent to the Upper School, and the half-court adjacent to the Lower School from the Site Plan, and replaced it with additional green space.

 

Consistency with Comprehensive Plan and Zoning

In Finding A-3.12, the Common Council concluded that “[s]ubject to the implementation of all conditions and requirements set forth in Findings A-3.1 through A-3.11 … MPP/North Street is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.” FASNY believes that the Site Plan Application demonstrates consistency with Findings A-3.1 through A-3.11, and that, with the reduction in size of the Middle School building, the Campus remains consistent with the building coverage and floor area ratio (FAR) standards within the Zoning Ordinance. As detailed above, FASNY believes that the revised Site Plan continues to be consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance and consistent with the Standard at Section 7.5.1 of the Zoning Ordinance.

At the Council Work Session it was correctly stated that the Court of Appeals in the case Cornell University, set forth a presumption in favor of educational uses, which is rebuttable based upon health, safety and welfare concerns. 68 N.Y.2d 583, 510 N.Y.S.2d 861, 866 (1986). In other words, religious and educational uses are not exempt from local zoning laws, and may be regulated accordingly. However, the Court of Appeals in Cornell University and its progeny have been unmistakenly clear that while a municipality may use the Special Permit mechanism to impose conditions related to the health, safety and welfare of the school and the surrounding community, such conditions must be “reasonable.” More importantly, municipalities in evaluating such applications must demonstrate “greater flexibility,” and must make “every effort to accommodate” such educational use.  Rosenfeld v. Z.B.A. of Ramapo, 6 A.D.3d 450, 774 N.Y.S.2d 359 (2d Dept. 2004), quoting Genesis Assembly of God v. Davies, 208 A.D.2d 627, 628, 617 N.Y.S.2d 202, 203 (2d Dept. 1994).

Relevant to FASNY’s Applications, as the Court of Appeals explained in Cornell University, courts were “thrust into the role” of protecting educational institutions from “community hostility” caused by fears that a project “would unnecessarily bring people from other communities into the neighborhood to disrupt its peace and quiet.”  510 N.Y.S.2d at 865.  Thus, New York Courts have held that it is  “incumbent” upon municipal land use boards to affirmatively suggest measures to accommodate the proposed religious and educational uses while mitigating the adverse effects on the surrounding community to the greatest extent possible.  Genesis Assembly, 617 N.Y.S.2d at 203. See Pine Knolls Alliance Church v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Town of Moreau, 5 N.Y.3d 407, 804 N.Y.S.2d 708, 710 (2005); Trustees of Union College v. Schenectady City Council, 91 N.Y.2d 161, 667 N.Y.S.2d 978, 981-982 (1997).

There is no question that the Common Council has not “st[oo]d helpless in the face of proposed uses that are dangerous to the surrounding area.” Cf. Cornell Univ., 510 N.Y.S.2d at 867.  To the contrary, the conditions that the Council has imposed on FASNY during its SEQRA and Site Plan reviews have more than adequately safeguarded the public health, safety, and general welfare. Assuming the Common Council votes to approve FASNY’s Applications, FASNY believes that it will have struck the proper balance and satisfied its legal obligations of accommodating the School as a presumptive beneficial use while safeguarding the public’s health, safety  and welfare.

 

Enhanced Landscaping for Screening

In response to comments from the Council, City staff, and certain members of the public, FASNY has identified three (3) locations where enhanced landscaping will be provided to further screen the parking lots and buildings from adjoining residential properties.  While FASNY sincerely believes that it has submitted an ambitious and robust landscaping plan, let alone its plan to preserve and restore,  and make accessible to the public, 78 acres of Conservancy land, included in this Submission are revised Landscaping Sheets from the Site Plan, showing additional landscaping (i) along the western edge of the Upper School parking lot to shield car lighting; (ii) along the western edge of Parcel A, and (iii) along the northern edge of Parcel D behind the houses that front on Southdale Road, again to shield car lighting. FASNY proposes the installation of approximately 166 additional trees and shrubs on the Property to enhance the open space character of the property while protecting adjoining residences.

FASNY submits that its comprehensive  Landscape Plan complies with the Standards for Special Permit approval at Section 6.5.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, as well as the Standards for Site Plan approval at, inter alia, Sections 7.5.2.9, 7.5.3.1, and 8.7.5.

 

Improvements to Access per Traffic Commission

FASNY met with the Traffic Commission in July and August and made several improvements to the design of the entrance driveway at North Street in response to their comments.  Shown on the attached revised Site Plan Drawings is an extension of the northbound left-turn lane on North Street from 80 feet to 140 feet per their recommendation. This left-turn lane can be constructed without widening North Street by removing a portion of the existing median. The resulting condition would mirror the southbound approach where a narrow median separates the northbound and southbound lanes. The FASNY driveway design and operations would have no effect on the private driveway at 567 North Street, and would not have any bearing on the operation of the center two-way left-turn lane (also known as a “suicide lane”), which is located approximately 1,800 feet (.35 miles) south on North Street just south of the intersection of Ridgeway.

FASNY believes that the proposed access plan is consistent with the Standard for Special Permit approval at Section 6.5.1 of the Zoning Ordinance, as well as the detailed Standards for Site Plan approval at Section 7.5.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, including, most importantly Section 7.5.2.10, which requires adequate access for emergency service vehicles to and through the Campus. FASNY met again with the Police and Fire Commissioners to review and obtain their concurrence with the emergency access routes through the Campus as shown in the revised Site Plans.

 

Transportation Management Plan has Additional Detail

FASNY has made substantial improvements to the Transportation Management Plan (TMP) at the request of the Traffic Commission, Deputy Commissioner of Parking for Transportation Engineering, Planning Consultant, Traffic Consultant (TRC), and general public (including the Gedney Association’s Traffic Consultant, Mary Manning). The revised TMP includes greater detail on how FASNY will monitor and report on traffic levels, what specific measures would be taken to ensure that FASNY does not exceed the 530 peak hour vehicle trip cap, and, as explained below, how FASNY can avoid to the extent practicable adverse impacts from vehicles diverted onto local side streets from the discontinuance of Hathaway Lane south of 57 Hathaway Lane. Once again, this is probably the most detailed and extensive Transportation Management Plan any applicant in White Plains, or the County as a whole, has ever committed to.

The traffic analysis contained in the FEIS includes a conservative (“worst case scenario”) approach to identifying potential future vehicle trips to the Campus. FASNY believes that this worst case scenario approach would account for any of the various factors that might arise on a family-by-family basis that might change how each student reaches the Campus. Many of these factors are within FASNY’s control and a number are not. FASNY understands that the SEQRA Findings, which stipulates a maximum of 530 peak hour vehicle trips, is the controlling instrument. As discussed in the revised TMP and attachments, FASNY and its families will take all necessary measures (short and long term) to ensure that the cap is not exceeded. As such, the following statement has been included in the TMP:

“Should the City of White Plains identify more than 500 peak hour vehicle trips three (3) times in any given month using the trip detection system to be installed at the North Street driveway, FASNY will be required to take corrective action such that within thirty (30) days of being notified by the City of White Plains any of a series of short-term measures will be employed to ensure that the trip count does not increase beyond 530 peak hour trips. If the trip count continues to exceed 500 trips on a regular basis, FASNY will be required to take longer-term corrective action by the end of the semester.”

“Short-term corrective action could include:

  • increasing the number of students car-pooling;
  • increasing the number of students using public transportation;
  • increasing the number of students reaching the Campus as bicyclist or pedestrian;
  • implementing shuttle van service for students; and

Longer-term corrective action could include:

  • implementing private busing through a contracted bus vendor; and
  • installing additional traffic mitigation improvements.”

Other measures and specific enforcement provisions and procedures are included in the revised TMP.

Also included in the TMP for the first time is an expanded Enrollment Agreement attached to the TMP (see Section 10), which will be signed by every family attending FASNY. A detailed description of the terms and conditions of the TMP, and associated transportation rules and regulations governing each FASNY family, will also be included in a revised School Student Handbook prepared annually prior to each School year. These are real commitments and rules for the FASNY community, and will be monitored and enforced in accordance with the good faith and sincerity that the School has demonstrated throughout this review process.

It needs to be emphasized that the 530 peak hour trip maximum is based on an analysis of what additional mitigation measures might be required to maintain acceptable operating conditions. If FASNY’s trip count is below this level, all of the identified traffic mitigation measures would be considered sufficient to handle projected traffic levels for an enrollment of up to 950 students. Conversely, if FASNY exceeds such maximum trip count during Phase I or thereafter, and the immediate short term corrective measures do not cure such exceedances, FASNY will have to implement more drastic measures such as providing private busing or installing additional traffic mitigation improvements.

Finally, several comments were raised as to specific details of the Mandatory Busing Program, and how effective it would be if students were allowed to seek exemptions. New procedures were added to the TMP and Enrollment Agreement with each family requiring that such requests be made in writing, strict certification requirements, and that such records could and would be shared with the City if requested. These exemptions will be limited.

 

Conservancy Area Master Plan has Additional Detail

FASNY has provided additional detail on implementation of the Conservancy improvements. FASNY remains committed to creation of the Conservancy in coordination with development of the Campus. This is an expensive and ambitious undertaking that FASNY has offered from the beginning of its Application, and stands by it. FASNY has also provided additional detail on how the meadow habitat will be implemented through controlled use of herbicides. At the suggestion of the Traffic Commission, the bike path has been widened from five (5) feet to eight (8) feet to allow passing. The bike path has also been relocated further from the western property line of Parcel B. The bike path is now a minimum of 50 feet from the western property line on Parcel B.

 

Declaration of Covenants, Restrictions and Easement Provides Long-Term Protection

The Declaration of Covenants, Restrictions and Easement (“Declaration”) has been revised in accordance with the comments of various entities, including Corporation Counsel and the Council’s Special Counsel, to provide stronger controls and long-term assurances that the Conservancy will be preserved as open space, even if FASNY or its successor, for example, ceases to use the Property for educational purposes. FASNY has agreed, for example, that in the event it or its successor ceases using the Property for educational purposes, it will grant the City of White Plains a right-of-first-refusal to purchase the Conservancy for $1 with the Declaration remaining in effect. It is also clear now that no additional buildings, athletic fields or ball courts can be built in the Conservancy under the Declaration.

The City also is now a Beneficiary and signatory to the Declaration, and has full enforcement powers in addition to a third party Enforcer. The City and the Enforcer now must agree to any amendment or modification in the Declaration. Also, FASNY has the right to close portions of the Conservancy only to correct unsafe conditions, and those measures must be implemented in a reasonable and timely manner. Finally, only the Court may remove the Enforcer if FASNY believes, for example, the Enforcer is acting unreasonably or inconsistent with the terms and intent of the Declaration. The Declaration is extremely comprehensive and detailed, and will ensure that the Conservancy is operated in conformance with its intended purpose and intent.  It will be a tremendous amenity for the School, the City and the neighborhood, and frankly, this Council’s legacy.

Construction Management Plan has Additional Detail

The Construction Management Plan (CMP) has been updated to provide additional details on the controls and best practices that will be used to ensure that construction activity does not produce nuisances to adjoining residential properties. The CMP also stipulates, per the request of a particular Council Member, that FASNY will place additional restrictions on the timing of large deliveries to avoid having construction truck traffic on local streets during peak times when local public and private school drop-off and pick-up is occurring:

1.     Restrictions on Deliveries Phase I (Upper School Construction)

Due to the proximity of the Project to White Plains High School and Ridgeway Elementary School, no major truck deliveries will be permitted during morning drop-off (7:25 to 7:55 AM) and afternoon pick-up (2:15 to 2:45 PM), during the school year. To avoid conflict with vehicular and pedestrian traffic accessing Ridgeway Elementary School, all heavy truck traffic will be prohibited from using Mamaroneck Ave between Bryant Ave and the Hutchinson River Parkway.

2.     Restrictions on Deliveries Phase 2 (Lower School Construction)

Due to the proximity of the Project to White Plains High School and Ridgeway Elementary School, no major truck deliveries will be permitted during morning drop-off at WPHS and FASNY (7:25 to 8:15 AM) or during afternoon pick-up at WPHS and FASNY (2:15 to 3:55 PM).

Enforcement provisions, such as fines and other common measures, are included in the revised CMP.

 

Compelling Reasons to Discontinue Southern Portion of Hathaway Lane

FASNY previously submitted to the Council a comprehensive Technical Memorandum dated September 8, 2014 (“Technical Memorandum”), supporting its Petition for the Partial Discontinuance of Hathaway Lane. Foremost, there seems to be a consensus among the City’s and FASNY’s transportation experts, as demonstrated during the SEQRA review and described in the Technical Memorandum, that the School cannot safely operate if Hathaway Lane is left open. Moreover, if Hathaway remained open as many as 180 parking spaces would need to be located in the Northern parking lot due to the shrinking of the Central lot area, as well as all the parking lots would be pushed closer to the residential property lines, violating certain design principles ascribed to throughout this process by the Council.

 

Finally, while FASNY’s original proposal to the City located its entrance to the School from Ridgeway, not requiring the closing of Hathaway Lane, the only access to the School permitted in the Council’s Findings (i.e., the North Street Alternative), requires the closing of Hathaway Lane. There are also at least two recent precedents in White Plains for the discontinuing of City streets to accommodate so-called private development, including, the closing of one or more local streets to accommodate development of the Westchester Mall, and the closing of E.J. Conroy Drive  to accommodate construction of the construction of the City Center. Respectfully, there are important compelling, or as the Courts have expressed,  “public interest,” reasons here for discontinuing a limited portion of Hathaway Lane as requested in FASNY’s Discontinuance Petition.

Indeed, as the Court of Appeals recently declared in determining whether there constituted a compelling public purpose or public interest in a condemnation case to facilitate the expansion of Columbia University, the Court, in citing Cornell University held that the “advancement of higher education is the quintessential example of a ‘civic purpose’”:

Indeed, the advancement of higher education is the quintessential example of a “civic purpose” (see Cornell Univ. v. Bagnardi, 68 N.Y.2d 583, 593, 510 N.Y.S.2d 861, 503 N.E.2d 509 [1986] [recognizing that schools, both public and private, “serve the public's welfare and morals”]). It is fundamental that education and the expansion of knowledge are pivotal government interests. The indisputably public purpose of education is particularly vital for New York City and the State to maintain their respective statuses as global centers of higher education and academic research.

Kaur v. New York State Urban Development Corp.,  15 N.Y.3d 235, 907 N.Y.S.2d 122, 135-36 (2010).  The Court of Appeals further observed that, like here, “[i]n addition to these new educational facilities, the Project will bestow numerous other significant civic benefits to the public,” including “the development of approximately two acres of gateless, publicly accessible park-like and landscaped space.”  Id.  Also of relevance, the Court held that Columbia University, though private, operates as a nonprofit educational corporation,” such that “the concern that a private enterprise will be profiting through eminent domain is not present.” Id.

Notwithstanding the above, FASNY recognizes there are certain potential impacts on the local residents due to the partial discontinuance of Hathaway Lane. Based upon the comments received from the public, the City’s transportation consultants and this Council, several changes have been made in FASNY’s respective Applications to reduce and address these impacts:

  1. The Site Plan now shows Hathaway Lane being discontinued south of the property line of 57 Hathaway Lane as suggested in the written comments of certain City Staff. This change should alleviate several criticisms advanced by this residence. The portion of Hathaway Lane abutting this residence will remain undisturbed and the property limits of this residence shall remain the same, and FASNY will design the driveway on its property to allow snow removal and other City trucks to continue to directly service this residence.
  2. To minimize the amount of traffic that might be diverted to other local streets in the Gedney neighborhood, FASNY has agreed to open the Emergency Access Campus driveway for general public vehicular access on non-School days, including weekends, holidays, and during the Summer (approximately 196 days per year). The Emergency Access Campus driveway would be accessed through the emergency access roads from Gedney Esplanade and Ridgeway, which would be designed and improved to handle safe two-way vehicular flow.

Second, FASNY would continue to collaborate with the City transportation officials on identifying other potential solutions, including, for example, turning restrictions or traffic calming on certain local streets or intersections, which could be implemented with the advice and consent of the Traffic Commission should future traffic conditions warrant.

To accommodate public traffic within the Campus, the emergency access points from Ridgeway and Gedney Esplanade have been adjusted to ensure easy access to the Property by vehicles and emergency service vehicles. The bus driveway along the western side of the Central parking lot has been widened from 20 feet to 24 feet to provide greater room for two-way vehicle flow (and for emergency service vehicles to bypass any school buses that may be queued within the driveway on school days when only FASNY traffic is using the driveways).

FASNY believes that the measures described above will minimize, to the maximum extent practicable, any impacts from additional traffic on local side streets. An analysis of potential diverted traffic indicates that, while traffic along local side streets will increase, the total amount of traffic will still be less than one (1) car per minute in either direction, and that the total 24-hour traffic volumes will not require any physical design changes to the street to safely convey the additional traffic volume. FASNY acknowledges that while some residents will continue to believe that the increase in cars on their local street – most of which would be local traffic – would result in a change in the character of their street, the measures described above will reduce such impacts. Certainly, various alternative permitted uses of the Property – whether a residential subdivision or public school of similar size and scope – would generate local traffic on the neighborhood side streets.

FASNY also respectfully submits that the potential impacts to emergency access in the event that the southern portion of Hathaway Lane is closed has been more than adequately addressed and avoided. First, the emergency access plan has been reviewed and thoroughly vetted by both the Chief of Police and Fire. The EIS provides that the reconfiguration of the emergency access and Campus circulation would add only five (5) seconds to response time to any emergency vehicle crossing the Campus. More importantly, the City’s Public Safety representatives in reviewing the Site Plan expressed that they would only use either Hathaway Lane or the emergency driveway proposed under the current Site Plan only in the most remote emergency conditions. They typically avoid using any roadway or driveway where their vehicles might come into conflict with school children on-site.  Nonetheless, they seemed assured that, as designed, if they were to use FASNY’s current proposed emergency access, it would operate comparable to an open Hathaway Lane from an emergency response perspective.

Finally, FASNY has discussed with City Staff and amended the Site Plan to leave the electrical and telecommunication lines along the discontinued portion of Hathaway Lane in their current place, aboveground.  FASNY reached this conclusion based upon pragmatic and financial reasons, and its discussions with Con Edison. It will in no way impact their functionality or maintenance.

Traffic Analysis of FASNY Driveway Was Comprehensive

Several members of the public and their consultants suggested that the EIS did not evaluate the impacts associated with the North Street Access. This is simply not accurate.

The FEIS (at pages 2.2-14 to 2.2-17), for example, contains a complete analysis of the operation of the North Street/FASNY Driveway intersection. While the FEIS presumed that the location of this aligned intersection would be approximately 75 feet further north (requiring a relocation of the White Plains High School driveway), FASNY’s purchase of the 557 North Street property allows FASNY to now construct this intersection directly opposite the current WPHS driveway. There is sufficient room within North Street to construct the proposed northbound left-turn lane without widening the roadway or affecting the private driveway at 567 North Street. None of the City’s consultants or staff identified the need for any additional analysis at this location.

FASNY would also like to correct the record that the proposed FASNY start times and dismissal times as presented in the current Transportation Management Plan (TMP) have not changed from the start and dismissal times analyzed in the FEIS. FASNY does not believe that any additional analysis is required to demonstrate FASNY’s ability to meet the Findings requirement of no more than 530 peak hour vehicle trips. FASNY respectfully maintains that throughout the SEQRA process the most conservative assumptions were applied, and FASNY is confident it can and will meet these conditions. If it finds it cannot for some unforeseen reason, then, unlike most approvals that rely on informed projections regarding traffic analysis, FASNY will be required to cure such condition, or otherwise, risk having its School and Special Permit impacted.

EIS Contained Detailed Accident & Safety Analysis

Contrary to the extensive line of questioning offered by one Council Member at the Work Session, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) contained a detailed analysis of accident data obtained from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011 (see DEIS at pages 11-17 to 11-19). As provided for in the Scope of Review adopted by the Council during the SEQRA process, and later resolutions by the Council finding that the DEIS and FEIS was complete and accurate, that data demonstrated that the majority of accidents at study area intersections are attributed to rear-end collisions, which are not uncommon at signalized intersections. Additional review of unsignalized intersections on Mamaroneck Avenue between Rosedale Avenue and Ridgeway, where none of the intersections were classified as “high-accident locations,” revealed that speeding was a primary cause of accidents. Chapter 2.1 of the FEIS included additional analysis of accident data provided by the City of White Plains. The FEIS indicates that “[p]roject-generated traffic is not anticipated to significantly exacerbate accidents at study area intersections as the Proposed Project would not introduce roadway features that would contribute to safety issues” (see FEIS at page 3.11-2). The FEIS also evaluated conditions along North Street, specifically at Club Pointe Drive where residents have expressed problems exiting Club Pointe Drive. The FEIS determined that “sufficient sight distance is not currently adequate for vehicles exiting and entering Club Pointe Drive from North Street. The limited sight distance at this driveway is due primarily to the landscaping and stonewalls at the Club Pointe entrance. The additional Project-generated traffic is not anticipated to change conditions at this intersection” (see FEIS at page 3.11-3).

Finally, the provision of the bike and pedestrian paths through the FASNY Property will provide a safer route to the White Plains High School than currently exists for residents of the Gedney neighborhood. These three miles of paths will provide enhanced bicycle and pedestrian access between Ridgeway, Bryant Avenue, and North Street opposite the High School.

 

FASNY Continues to Coordinate with Army Corps of Engineers

Contrary to various statements by some, FASNY has been in contact with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding on-Site wetlands since 2011. We have provided the Council with copies of all written correspondence (including e-mails) with USACE. We are currently revising drawings per the USACE specifications, and hope to coordinate a site visit with USACE personnel prior to the next Council Work Session to confirm the wetland delineation prepared by FASNY. FASNY has designed the Campus and Conservancy to avoid all potential USACE-regulated wetlands, all NYSDEC-regulated wetlands and buffers, and all City of White Plains-regulated wetlands and buffers.

FASNY very much appreciates the exchange of ideas and concerns at the Council’s last Work Session. We trust that Council Members will appreciate the significant and substantial changes to the Site Plan and Special Permit Applications included in this Submission.  Frankly, some of the changes asked of FASNY were very difficult for the School and its community to accept from a financial and programmatic perspective.

FASNY certainly believes that it has done everything asked of it in good faith to meet the challenges of its School, and the public review process. It trusts that a favorable determination on its Applications will occur in the very near future.

Respectfully submitted,

ZARIN & STEINMETZ

 

 

By: _____________________

Michael D. Zarin

 

Posted in Uncategorized

French American School Details How it Has Revised Site Plan to Come inline with Common Council Comments

WPCNR SOUTHEND TIMES. From the French American School of New York. October 29, 2014:

The French-American School of New York (FASNY) has submitted a letter together with several revised Site Plan drawings and other documentation including a revised Transportation Management Plan, Conservancy Area Master Plan and Construction Management Plan, Hathaway Lane Discontinuance Petition and the updated 3D Modeling as requested by the White Plains Mayor and Common Council.

The October 20 letter from FASNY’s attorney, Michael Zarin of the White Plains law firm Zarin & Steinmetz, states that FASNY continues to make changes to its Site Plan and offer additional amenities and commitments to the City and the community in a good faith attempt to bring the City’s review of its planned school on a portion of the former Ridgeway Country Club to a favorable conclusion.

The letter calls the Mayor and Council’s attention to several of the more notable changes, many of which are in direct response to the specific comments of the Common Council offered at its September 29 Work Session, including:

  • Reduction of Parking – overall parking has been reduced by another 30 total spaces from 348 to 318.  The Northern parking lot has been reduced from 130 to 80 spaces. The Central lot has been increased, but reconfigured to create two clusters of parking (55 and 75 spaces) separated by large landscaped islands. The Lower School parking lot has been reduced from 101 to 90 spaces.
  • Removed Basketball Courts – both outdoor basketball courts have been eliminated
  • Reduction in Building Square Footage – eliminated approximately 33,000 square feet by combining Upper and Middle school activities; eliminated majority of the Middle School building and converted to green space
  • Declaration of Covenants – revised per the review of Corporation and Special Counsel to include, among other changes, more definitive language regarding permitted and prohibited uses; Declaration in perpetuity, with right of first refusal to City to purchase Conservancy for $1 if Property no longer used for educational purposes; added City as Beneficiary with full enforcement powers; FASNY may not amend or modify the Declaration without consent of City and Enforcer; and only a Court can remove Enforcer.
  • Hathaway Lane Discontinuance (Access) – will open section of Campus driveway to public during non-School days (approximately 196 days per year) to directly access Ridgeway, and avoid diversions to local streets; met again with Fire and Police Chiefs to confirm acceptable emergency access, which is provided 24 hours per day and 365 days per year
  • Hathaway Lane Discontinuance (Location) – moved discontinuance of Hathaway Lane fifty (50) feet south of 57 Hathaway Lane’s property line to avoid any disturbance with this residence; provided an alternative emergency access to Hathaway Lane including a turn around for service vehicles
  • Enhanced Landscaping – additional landscaping at three locations to shield car lights, and additional buffers along western residential property border
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Trails– expand paved trails to width of 8 feet, as well as move trail on Parcel B from 10 feet to 50-60 feet from residential property lines
  • Construction Vehicle Deliveries – prohibit deliveries by heavy construction vehicles during White Plains High School morning and afternoon drop and pickup times, and on Mamaroneck Avenue during Ridgeway Elementary morning and afternoon drop and pickup times
  • Transportation Management Plan – more definitive monitoring and enforcement provisions and procedures, including Enrollment Agreement, Student Handbooks and other short and long term corrective measures

The letter says that FASNY very much appreciates the exchange of ideas and concerns at the Council’s last Work Session. “We trust that the Council Members will appreciate the significant and substantial changes to the Site Plan and Special Permit Applications included in this submission,” the letter states, adding that “frankly, some of the changes asked of FASNY were very difficult for the School and its community to accept from a financial and programmatic perspective.”

It concludes:  “FASNY certainly believes that it has done everything asked of it in good faith to meet the challenges of its School, and the public review process. It trusts that a favorable determination on its Applications will occur in the very near future.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Montefiore CEO Discusses Challenges in Healthcare Going Forward.

 

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Dr. Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester interviewing Montefiore CEO Dr. Steven Safyer at Manhattanville College Monday.

WPCNR HEALTH TRENDING. From the Business Council of Westchester (Edited) October 28, 2014:

Dr. Steven Safyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore Health System, that has recently engaged in a partnership with White Plains Hospital said one of the major challenges facing hospitals today is how to provide affordable care without sacrificing quality.

He noted to an audience of  100 at the Westchester Business Council at Manhattanville College Monday, that Montefiore’s model of integrating care and payments is a key element of the Affordable Care Act. “That’s the model of the future,” he said. “You can have affordable care that is high quality.”

He said the healthcare industry is undergoing a period of consolidation. “There will be more consolidations. There will be more branching out of systems,” he said.

This is most evident in Westchester where Montefiore has emerged as a major presence in the county’s healthcare community with its acquisition of Sound Shore Medical Center and Mount Vernon Hospital as well as its affiliation with White Plains Hospital. Montefiore also maintains administrative offices in the former Kraft Foods complex in Tarrytown.

He also noted that the healthcare community is moving toward more outpatient services designed to keep people out of hospitals. He talked about Montefiore’s new “bedless hospital” that is opening at the Hutchinson Metro Center in the Bronx. The 300,000- square-foot ambulatory surgical care center is the first of its kind in the New York Metro Area.

Dr. Safyer said all of these developments mean new jobs will be created in the healthcare field. However, he said many of those jobs will not necessarily be professionals with advanced medial or nursing degrees but managers who will help patients with their ongoing care.

On WHITE PLAINS TELEVISION’S PEOPLE TO BE HEARD interview program, you hear see what the Chief Executive Officer of White Plains Hospital, Jon Schandler, has to say about how Montefiore and White Plains Hospital will be operating together in the coming months. You can see the program at 10 P.M. Thursday evening on Channels 45 FIOS throughout Westchester County, and Channel 76 Cablevision

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized