FASNY: THE END IS NEAR

 WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. November 9, 2017:

TO HEAR THE SOUTH END GEDNEY ASSOCIATION TELL IT, THE FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL OF NEW YORK PLAN TO BUILD A NEW CAMPUS ON THE OLD RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB IS STILL A FIERY ISSUE IN WHITE PLAINS.

HOWEVER, THAT HAS NOT APPEARED TO EFFECT MAYOR TOM ROACH’S POPULARITY IN THE LEAST.

OVER THE LAST 6 YEARS —(THIS JANUARY IT WILL BE 7 YEARS IN DISCUSSIONS), THE FASNY SAGA THE LIKE OF HAS BEEN A HISTORIC EXERCISE IN INERTIA. I HAVE AND THE CITY HAS SUFFERED THROUGH, SITE PLANS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES MANEUVERS, STRIDENT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION, AN ENTRANCE ON RIDGEWAY, AN ENTRANCE ON NORTH STREET, NOW BACK TO AN ENTRANCE ON RIDGEWAY. THE PROCESS HAS MADE LEGAL FIRMS AND CONSULTANTS SWIMMING POOLS OF MONEY LIKE SCROOGE McDUCK.

THE FASNY SAGA IS THE STUFF MOVIE CLASSICS ARE MADE OF.

THROUGH THIS PERIOD, THE ROACH ADMINISTRATION HAS IN EFFECT MANAGED TO DELAY BY INTENTION OR JUST BY THE INERTIA OF GOVERNMENT BY PROCEDURE—MOVING THE  APPROVAL OR DENIAL FARTHER OUT.

BUT THE END IS NEAR. MAYBE.

LAST MONTH THE COMMON COUNCIL SCHEDULED A SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS THE NEW, IMPROVED FASNY SITE PLAN. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THEY HAVE MET ON IT TO ATTEMPT PROGRESS SINCE THE CITY DENIED THE FIRST PLAN IN AUGUST 2015.

A JUDGE THEN FOUND THE CITY HAD DELAYED THE PROCESS AND CALLED FOR A REVOTE  

AFTER FASNY SUED THE CITY,  THE CITY REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH FASNY TO CONSIDER A NEW PLAN AND THE JUDGE SET UP AN EXPEDITED TIMETABLE FOR THE PROCESS TO CONSIDER THE NEW PLAN.

THAT NEW PLAN PUTTING THE ENTRANCE BACK ON RIDGEWAY IS WHAT THE COMMON COUNCIL CAME TO DISCUSS TWO AND A HALF YEARS AFTER THAT AUGUST 15, 4-3 DENIAL OF THE NORTH STREET ENTRANCE.

 THE COUNCIL RAISED SOME ISSUES ON THE NEW REVISED PLAN  AT THEIR SPECIAL MEETING THE THIRD WEEK IN OCTOBER.

THE COUNCIL QUESTIONS WERE ASKED WITHOUT A REVIEW OF THE PLAN BY THE FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL OF NEW YORK.  THE FASNY SPOKESMAN, GEOFF THOMPSON TOLD THIS REPORTER THE COMMON COUNCIL DID NOT REQUEST A FORMAL OVERVIEW OF THE PLAN TO BE SHOWN AT THAT MEETING. SO THE PUBLIC VIEWING THE MEETING WHICH WAS POORLY MIKED AND HARD TO UNDERSTAND EVEN WHEN VIEWING IN THE CHAMBER AND ESPECIALLY UNHEARABLE ON TELEVISION AT HOME. AT LEAST ONE CALL CAME IN FROM A VIEWER COMPLAINING THE TELEVISION FEED WAS UNHEARABLE.

AT THE MEETING NADINE HUNT-ROBINSON, THE COUNCILPERSON WHOSE VOTE KILLED THE FORMER PLAN THAT WOULD HAVE CLOSED HATHAWAY LANE AND HAD ENTRANCE FROM NORTH STREET BY WHITE PLAINS HIGH SCHOOL SAID SHE WAS STILL CONCERNED ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

SHE SAID SHE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE DOUBTS RAISED BY CITIZENS ABOUT ABOUT FASNY DEVELOPING OTHER PARCELS OF THE PROPERTY A PROCESS KNOWN AS “SEGMENTATION”.

SHE SUGGESTED THESE DOUBTS ABOUT FUTURE DEVELOPMENT COULD BE PUT TO REST BY PROHIBITING ANY OTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY CLUB PROPERTY FOR 50 YEARS.

THIS  WOULD APPEAR TO BE A WAY THE HUNT-ROBINSON VOTE MIGHT BY MOVED TO “YES.”

PREVIOUSLY HUNT-ROBINSON VOTED AGAINST THE CLOSING HATHAWAY PLAN BECAUSE OF SAFETY ISSUES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS.

COUNCILMAN DENNIS KROLIAN, ANOTHER NEGATIVE VOTE ON THE FASNY ISSUE RAISED AN ISSUE OVER POLICE MONITORING OF TRAFFIC AT THE MAMARONECK AVENUE AND RIDGEWAY INTERSECTION ON WHETHER IT WOULD BE MONITORED AT ALL BY THE WHITE PLAINS POLICE. THE POLICE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SAID THE POLICE WOULD MONITOR IF THEY RECEIVED COMPLAINTS.

THE THIRD NEGATIVE VOTER ON THE NORTH STREET ENTRANCE IN AUGUST 2015, MILAGROS LECUONA ALSO MADE A DEMAND THAT ANY APPROVAL RESOLUTION SHOULD PERMANENTLY CAP THE FASNY NUMBER OF STUDENTS ATTENDING THE CAMPUS AT 615.

OBSERVERS OF THIS MEETING SEEMED TO FEEL THAT ROBINSON-HUNT HAD SET OUT HER CRITERIA FOR  GETTING TO YES AND “APPROVAL.”

WHETHER FASNY WOULD AGREE TO A STIPULATION THAT WOULD MAKE THE REST OF THE PROPERTY UNATTRACTIVE TO A POTENTIAL FUTURE BUYER OR POSITIVE USE OF THE PROPERTY UNDER FUTURE ADMINISTRATIONS IS A BIG QUESTION.

WHEN A RESOLUTION WOULD BE READY AND HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO HAMMER OUT A RESOLUTION WITH RESTRICTIONS  FASNY COULD LIVE WITH WITHOUT FILING ANOTHER LAWSUIT, IS UNCERTAIN AT THE TIME OF THIS REPORT.

YOU COULD LOOK FOR IT IN DECEMBER OR AT A SPECIAL MEETING OR JANUARY OR FEBRUARY. PERHAPS AT A NEW YEAR’S EVE MEETING, A FEW MINUTES BEFORE MIDNIGHT

 THIS MAKES MY PREDICTION THAT FASNY WOULD NOT BE VOTED ON BEFORE THE 2017 NOVEMBER ELECTION A REALITY. THOSE ELECTED IN NOVEMBER DID NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANY FASNY FALLOUT. HOW DID I KNOW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? JUST LUCKY, I GUESS.

 

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