Dear Mayor and Common Council,
We have to thank the WP Board of Education for unanimously rejecting FASNY’s Plan, the North Street entrance alternative and FASNY’s Traffic Management Plan in general. And we also have to thank our Board of Education for being more concerned with the safety and welfare of our own WP Students. . .than politics.
Our Overview of the just completed Public Hearings on FASNY. . . centers on the Mayor’s directive back at the December SEQR Findings meeting that. . .”the City is bound by the law”. During the Site Plan hearings residents and experts presented significant evidence that this FASNY project violates our Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, Special Permit and other WP regulations. . .while FASNY representatives presented no legal evidence to the contrary.
As you know we live in a society founded on “the rule of law”. If elected officials do not follow the law. . .society itself breaks down as how would citizens know what laws to follow and take seriously?
While these public hearing were informative. . .residents presented a lot of evidence to you for rejecting FASNY. . .while no factual responses came from all the FASNY speakers, who while supporting their school, had no facts or evidence to offer.
Back when the SEQR Findings were approved and moved along by our elected officials. . .all of you challenged FASNY to make significant improvements in these submissions. So how did FASNY do?
Unfortunately not well by our account. . .as FASNY’s Traffic has gotten worse as we learned more about the problems associated with their North Street entrance and also about the negative impact of closing Hathaway Lane will have on Fire Response times and resident Quality of Life. No one from FASNY explained why they increased their building square footage in the face of a reduced student population. And no explanation was provided by FASNY during the hearings to support of the length of their 10-year construction process.
Also back at last December’s SEQR Findings meeting. . .Common Council members asked for improvements from FASNY to lessen their project’s negative impact on neighborhood character. . .yet none were provided in the Site Plan or at the hearings.
The Council also asked for a Storm-Water protection plan. . .and thanks to the resident efforts, not FASNY’s, the Army Corps of Engineers will tell us where building foundations can safely be placed on FASNY’s property. (Editor’s Note: The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing whether it has jurisdiction over the property.)
And the Conservancy, which the original FASNY Spin told us was being donated to the City. . .now will be retained by FASNY with the likelihood that parcels will be sold off to developers over time.
At this point there is enough in the public record for the Common Council to order additional outside consulting studies for FASNY’s Traffic, on Storm-Water and on neighborhood Property Values.
You could even order supplemental Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) for the North Street entrance and the 530 FASNY Traffic number which were not properly analyzed in the FEIS and SEGR Findings report. And certainly new Environmental Impact Studies could be ordered on the Closure of Hathaway Lane and the Conservancy. . .where not enough information was contained in the FEIS, SEQR Findings or in the Site Plan to evaluate any of these subjects.
Your best choice would be to just vote “no” on FASNY’s “Regional School Campus” which does not fit with the residential character of our neighborhood, does not cater to students from our own WP community. . .and is not in conformity with a number of WP laws and regulations.
You have announced that you will hold a meeting on September 29th where you will finally ask the FASNY representatives questions. We look forward to your probing and challenging questions to FASNY. . .so we all can listen and process FASNY answers.
So to help our Common Council to ask the right questions. . .we went back to FASNY submissions, the recent hearings and our own notes to put together a list of questions for you. And surprising even to us we have ended up with more questions for our Common Council. . .50 in total that we are passing on to you now in preparation for your September 29th meeting. We’ll forward our suggested list questions for FASNY in a separate email.
We look forward to your answers, your transparency and for you to follow the law.
We report. . .you decide.
Your Truth Police, Team Rhodes
Marie and Ron Rhodes