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.”