Commentary on Council Vote

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. MARCH 16, 2017:

Dear Mayor and Common Council:                                                                                       
 Thank you for voting to reaffirm the Environmentally Sensitive designation of Parcel A of the old golf course property at last night’s Common Council meeting.
FASNY has submitted so many plan changes in the 6 years they have been trying to build in WP that we wanted to provide some factual evidence so our elected officials and residents are on the same page as to what FASNY is really asking the City for.  Unfortunately FASNY’s new site plan submission is their most dangerous plan so far and is a serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of the current 5,000 WP School Children walking, biking and commuting to their 10 existing WP schools on the small country streets without sidewalks surrounding FASNY’s property.  FASNY’s plan is also a threat for Seniors and other Residents walking and riding in the Southend of the City. . .and the bottlenecks from FASNY Traffic are sure to increase Emergence Response Times for many homes.
Since their purchase of the old golf course property 6 years ago FASNY’s plan submissions and communication efforts to the Residents of WP have been plagued with numerous factual inaccuracies.
And this latest FASNY Site Plan is no exception as we would describe it as a “fake news” submission because FASNY is taking credit for Traffic, School Enrollment and Construction reductions. . .only because FASNY has not included their Lower School and Nursery School student enrollments. . .or their building development plans for Parcels B, C & D. . .all of which were in prior FASNY submissions.
 And their omission now most likely violates NYS SEQR regulations on “Segmentation”. . .which we will go into in more detail in our next missive.  Why has this City Administration allowed FASNY to submit so many misleading and factual inaccurate plans?
If FASNY when they bought the old golf course property 6 years ago had undertaken a more comprehensive due diligence they would have realized that the property’s wetlands, watercourses and underground streams require more detailed Environmental testing and analyses that in the end could restrict future development.
When we moved to WP back in 1979 our own due diligence indicated that the old golf course was originally created back in the 1920s by covering over underground streams. . .so any type of future development of the property would be problematic.  In fact both FASNY and the Common Council deemed FASNY’s entire property as Environmentally Sensitive back in 2011 and confirmed this again in the December 2013 SEQR Findings report.
So why now after 6 years did FASNY in its latest Site plan try to have the Environmentally Sensitive designation for Parcel A removed?
And if FASNY has never undertaken studies to identify where the old golf course’s underground streams are located. . .or preformed the necessary wetland testing and analytical studies. . .how can the City and residents determine the Environmental impact FASNY’s Construction activities will have on potential Flooding and Water problems with the surrounding community?
Unfortunately after 6 years FASNY still does (NOT) have all the information they need with regard to wetlands, watercourses and underground streams in order to determine where it is appropriate to safely build.                  
 
This FASNY saga has been has been enlightening to us. . .as we always thought it was our elected officials “#1″ responsibility to insure the safety of Residents and School Children as well as protect the integrity of the zoning on our homes. . .versus large developer threats.
 
While FASNY is (WAS) asking the City for a Special Permit. . .in effect FASNY is really trying to change the zoning on Parcel A. . .because if FASNY ‘s planned Construction is allowed, Parcel A will look like an over-built Downtown area that in no way will resemble its current R1-30 Residential zoning. 
 
We are thankful to Council Members Lecuona, Krolian and Hunt-Robinson for trying to protect the 5,000 WP School Children at their 10 existing WP schools coming into our neighborhood each day from the dangerous Traffic FASNY will bring.
And we are hopeful that Mayor Roach and Council Members Martin, Kirkpatrick and Smayda will re-consider their support for the outside developer FASNY. . .and try to re-direct their focus back to protecting our own WP School Children.
 All of our Council Members ran for office promising to protect Neighborhoods, Open Space as well as School Children and Seniors. . .and we urge each of you not to betray your own constituents by supporting FASNY’s massive development. . .which threatens Resident safety and zoning protections.
Even if you like the idea of a FASNY school, by all accounts a fine educational institution, as elected officials with your fiduciary responsibility to the Citizens of WP. . .you have to reject FASNY’s latest site submission. . .which is “their most dangerous plan” to date. . .with critical information not included, with numerous factual inaccuracies and with FASNY’s Traffic a threat to WP School Children and Residents.
For us FASNY’s revised plan is really about a massive Construction project in a WP residential community on current Open Space zoned at low density R1-30 on land designated as Environmentally Sensitive where the Traffic volume from FASNY’s “School Population Size” is both dangerous and unmanageable.
When you take a big picture look at the past 6 years. . .unfortunately FASNY picked the wrong location, one in a residential neighborhood, for their massive school. . .and followed up with inadequate due diligence and factually inaccurate plan submissions.  The FASNY lawyers and consultants have no one to blame but themselves.
Our full report with details to follow.
Thanks for your consideration.
Your Truth Police. . .Team Rhodes
Marie and Ron Rhodes

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