WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JUNE 16, 2015:
In the June 1 Common Council meeting, the city included on the backup consent agenda a notice of scoping issues for the new planned development called “The Collection.” It gave the public until June 22 to respond. There was no detailed explanation provided about this project.
You can see an explanation of this project detailed on this week’s edition of WHITE PLAINS WEEK, the city news roundup show at www.whiteplainsweek.com
A WPCNR reader has written that such a major project was not publicized enough by the city to generate enough awareness of the changes. The letter was sent to the Mayor and the Common Council and provided to the media:
To: Mayor Roach, Councilmembers Hunt-Robinson, Kirkpatrick, Krolian, Lecuona, Martin, Smayda
RE: “The Collection “
DATE: June 15, 2015
On June 13, 2015 a letter to you from White Plains resident Renee Marks Cohen was posted on WPCNR regarding the project named “The Collection” on Westchester Ave and vicinity.
Her communication raises many important questions. Among them is –WHERE CAN RESIDENTS FIND INFORMATION ON THIS PROPOSAL ON THE CITY’S WEBSITE SO THAT THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO COMMENT ON IT?
Your response may be that it is there. Only if you know that such a proposal exists, what it is called, and then insert “The Collection” in the Search box and then it does appears – twice – has no map of the area included, and is incomplete. Somewhere there it states that public comments are accepted until June 22, 2015. Nothing else on that subject is anywhere on the website, not even on the Planning Dept. pages!
How can you expect public comment if the public has no access to information? This another example of, what seems to me, deliberate lack of transparency.
The quote below is from one of many federal websites, in this case Federal Highway Administration:
“Scoping, an open process involving the public and other Federal, state and local, agencies, commences immediately to identify the major and important issues for consideration during the study. Public involvement and agency coordination continues throughout the entire process.”
At the very least this project should appear prominently on the city’s home page and contain all the necessary information that the public has every right to know. If the current Planning Dept. Deputy Commissioner has neglected to take the necessary actions then it is to be hoped the newly appointed one will have the required expertise to rectify these omissions. Sending the complete documentation to Boards and Commissions does not obviate informing the public at large.
Therefore, I suggest that the appropriate neighborhood associations be officially notified, as well as the White Plains Board of Education and the residents on Franklin Ave and adjacent streets, so that they can contribute their comments. Most importantly, given the lack of information available to date, the date for submission of public comments be extended beyond June 22, 2015.
Cc: WPCNR, CNA, North St Area Civic Assoc,White Plains Examiner, Renee Marks Cohen