41 Sign Letter to Neighbors Supporting Approval of French American School of NY Campus on Ridgeway Country Club Site

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WPCNR SOUTHEND TIMES. September 6, 2014:

Two days before perhaps the penultimate French American School of New York public hearing at White Plains High auditorium Monday night, a single page letter signed by 41 residents around the former country club property urges ¬†neighbors accept “that a change in use (of the country club property) is inevitable.”

The letter states, “the time has come to accept that there will be a change and to move forward.”

The letter debunks the notion that the property should be used for housing:

“We have carefuly considered that and have concluded that this would result in losing virtually all of the property other than wetlands and steep slopes to development. It (housing) would add to traffic, burden the local public schools with many more children and would bring no tangible benefit to the community. Whatever taxes would be generated by the residential properties would be more than offset by the increased demands for municipa and school services.”

The letter supports the site plan for the following reasons:

“reduction in the number of students who will attend the school, most of the traffic has been removed from Ridgeway (Avenue), the school buildings have been pulled back from Ridgeway and other property lines, landscaping and buffering have been substantially enhanced, and the overall impacts have been significantly reduced. The plan today is better and far less impactful on the neighborhood thanks to those who have stood up and made their case.”

The letter supports the final open space the site plan provides:

“there is a bit less open space than FASNY had first proposed, but it’s still 78 acres. That’s more than half the property and a lot of that land is very buildable…FASNY says it will put a permanent conservation easement on the open space and maintain and operate it as part of the School, solely at their cost.”

Closing of Hathaway Laner is dismissed  as a casualty of the new site plan, because of the traffic mitigation the closing provides:

“As long as emergency access is maintained, and the City makes sure it will be, we think this actually will lessen the potential for traffic cutting through the adjoining neighborhood streets…any inconvenience it causes is relatively minor while the benefits to lessening cut-through traffic on the adjoining streets is a real plus.”

The letter closes, “We are urging the Mayor and the Common Council to approve the (FASNY application for a )Special Permit: We thank them and the City’s staff and consultants for giving so much time and attention to the future of the Ridgeway CC property, for listening and responsing to the concerns of the surrounding community and for helping to shape the plan into something that should be workable for all. We appreciate the views of all our neighbors and welcome those who so wish to join us in signing this letter or otherwise letting the Mayor and Council know that it’s time to move on and move forward…”



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