WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JUNE 27, 2017:
Dear Mayor and Common Council,
We ask the above headline question because in our 38 years of living in White Plains. . .as we recall the Democratic Party only started to dominate City politics in the last 15 years or so. We believe because their platforms of preserving Open Space, protecting Neighborhoods and fighting unwelcome development that would change the Character of our neighborhoods. . .connected and resonated with White Plains residents and voters. We remember back on November 11, 2011 Liz Shollenberger, head of the Democratic Party in White Plains, even saying “We’re the party that cares more about people”.
Unfortunately around the same time Liz Shollenberger was making this statement the outside developer FASNY purchased the old Ridgeway golf course property and proposed a 53-acre school development that was the largest Construction project ever proposed for a White Plains residential neighborhood. And almost immediately some of our White Plains elected officials started to help FASNY behind-the-scenes. . .and strangely for 6 years never asked any probing questions of the FASNY Representatives in any Public Meetings.
If the connection as the “people’s party” caught on with the White Plains voters and is responsible for the Democratic Party’s recent success. . .maybe it’s not a good idea for our FASNY-leaning elected officials, Mayor Roach along with Council Members Martin, Kirkpatrick and Smayda, to abandon the Democratic “people party” principles that they originally campaigned on. . .to switch their support to FASNY-type large developers. . .who are interested in zoning changes and behind-the-scenes political deals while circumventing laws and regulations. With White Plains Citizens looking for elected officials who support the issues important to residents. . .and also having officials who are willing to solve problems. . .going forward we can see the Democratic Party and individual political careers being hurt in the process by some elected officials shifting to favor large developers away from ordinary people issues and concerns.
NYS SEQR regulations on land use, which coincide closely with the Democratic Party principles of protecting Open Space and Neighborhoods, were originally put in place to protect Citizens and the Environment.
And SEQR has a broad definition of the Environment to include Community Character, preventing significant Traffic increases, potential Water Flooding issues and other significant adverse impacts caused be a proposed development. In other words SEQR’s goal, like our local Democratic Party’s original platform, was to look out for the “people”.
SEQR regulations require looking at the “whole action” of a development project including future expansions and land sales while also prohibiting a developer from breaking up a project into smaller parts to hide future expansion plans. . .which FASNY is doing by submitting their latest plan for only 28 acres where all their prior plans were for their full 130 acres. While common sense tells all of us this Segmentation tactic is wrong. . .unfortunately our elected officials supporting FASNY have been silent on the issue.
In addition SEQR requires Mitigation reductions for Student Enrollment, Traffic and Construction to be “permanent” in order to protect the Public and Community from future developer-caused adverse events. . .not the short-term make-believe cosmetic changes as our FASNY-supporting elected officials have allowed FASNY to submit over the past 6 years.
SEQR regulations also require a developer to prepare and include accurate and complete information in their plans, similar to our own City’s Zoning requirements for developers. . .which unfortunately with all their multiple plan submissions over the past 6 years FASNY was never able to do. Again all of the FASNY (Editor’s note: alleged) factual inaccurate plans were submitted under the guidance and support of Mayor Roach and Council Members Martin, Kirkpatrick and Smayda.
How else could this FASNY project drag on for 6 years. . .unless it had the support of these elected officials trying to push a “round peg into a square hole” where the rest of us could see it would never fit.
As the City is approaching a final vote we ask all our elected officials, including our FASNY-leaning ones, to reject FASNY’s latest plan. . .that is incomplete. . .that contains no “permanent” caps on Enrollment, Traffic, future land sales, etc. . .that violates WP laws & SEQR regulations. . .has 10-year Construction with Flooding issues in a residential neighborhood. . .and brings extremely dangerous Traffic Safety concerns for WP School Children, Seniors and their families.
And for Mayor Roach and Council Members Martin, Kirkpatrick and Smayda. . .who stopped listening and showing respect to residents when FASNY appeared 6 years ago. . .we ask you to reconsider your support from FASNY. . .and change back to the core principals of the White Plains Democratic Party as being the “party of the people”.
And stop looking for your personal legacies in all the wrong places. . legacies of turning your backs on your neighbors, the Democratic Party and the law. If you originally ran for office on the a platform of being the “people’s candidates” who support “neighborhoods” now is the time to follow up on your political promises by rejecting FASNY and supporting the people of White Plains.
Vote “no” on zoning changes and special permits for large developers in residential neighborhoods. . .reject FASNY.
Your Truth Police. . .Team Rhodes
Marie and Ron Rhodes