WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES By John F. Bailey. December 2, 2014 UPDATED December 2, 10:20 P.M.:
The city is preparing for the resumption of the French American School of New York Special Permit Apllication and Closure of Hathaway Lane Proposal Wednesday evening at 6:00 (not 6:30 P.M., as previously reported) in City Hall. The public is not allowed to speak. However issues and comments may still be filed up to 10 days after tomorrow’s hearing resumption. Two new elements for Common Council consideration have been submitted this week:
Monday the Gedney Association released the findings of a fire consultant the Association engaged to evaluate the effects of the proposed Hathaway Lane closure. The closure, according to the city’s staff report released November 21, is a prerequisite for mitigation measures that the city staff deems essential for the FASNY proposed campus to be built on the former grounds of the Ridgeway Country Club.
According to Fire Pro, Inc., ( described by the Gedney Association as a fire protection engineering company), upon FirePro review of the Hathaway Lane closure for possible effects on public safety, “the FASNY proposal will present a significant adverse impact on emergency and fire safety response…”
This, in Fire Pro opinion is because of “inefficient” access to the neighborhood north of Ridgeway: to wit: access to Gedney Esplanade and streets northeast of the proposed campus is only accessible via Murchison Place or Bryant Avenue by fire fighters dispatched from Fire Station 7, located at the corner of Ridgeway and North Street
FirePro reports, in their opinion, forcing the Murchison and Bryant Avenue routes would triple response times. The report has been forwarded to the city for consideration, since closure of Hathaway effects on public safety was not raised as an issue by the city staff and consultants.
In another development, the husband-wife team of Ron and Marie Rhodes who have been most proactive in critiqueing city department heads’ and consultants’ analyses of the FASNY mitigation proposal , have announced by letter to the Mayor and Common Council that they have delivered pictures and commentary to Amanda M. Switzer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Their letter to Ms. Switzer points out in detail how the property floods during rains and directly raising concersn that the presently “mitigated” FASNY site plan could lead to significant flooding. The Army Corps of Engineers continues to deliberate as to whether the Corps has jurisdiction over the FASNY property and subsequent “go” or “no go” over the appropriateness of the planned construction in the wetlands of the property.