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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. Statement to WPCNR. December 8, 2021:

As WPCNR reported yesterday, the plaintiffs in the Gedney Association vs. French American School of New York and the City of White Plains are stymied

The surprise sale by the French American School of New York of the entire Rigeway Country Club property which the court was not told about prior to the November 28 news release to the media announcing the sale has created a dilemma.

The “Environmental Issue,” one of the two appeals the Association made two years ago that is currently being held for scheduling of argument in the Appellate Court of Brooklyn is stymied as to how to proceed on the remaining issue of the appeal: of the moratorium on institutional use attached to the property since 1925.

Today, Dan Seidel, the architect of the papers presenting the moot “Environmental Issue” brief that the Appellate Division agreed to hear (with the “institutional” issue), announced today he was withdrawing as plaintiff/appellant.

He has issued the following statement to WPCNR explaining his action :

“Update: the plaintiffs’ fighting the “institutional use” holding of  Judge Lefkowitz have a dilemma.

As I no longer live in the area, and the SEQRA environmental issues have been resolved by the sale to a housing developer, who promises luxury houses I have no remedy that can be granted from the Appellate Court.

My damages claimed (in the appeal) included no monetary relief, but a mere “re-do” of the environmental issues.

I shall therefore withdraw as a party plaintiff/appellant, not as attorney.

My issue is now moot.

The School never got built and is now gone. 

The Appellate Court Rules state that when an issue is moot, the Court SHALL be notified immediately and the process will be affected.

I will withdraw as an appellant as I no longer live in the area and the issue I was contesting is moot. Failure to do so can result in significant monetary sanctions to ME (wasting the court’s time with an issue that has been resolved) and I can be disciplined on my permanent record. 

John Sheehan and Gedney still have standing in the SEQRA issue and it will be their choice to go forward or not on those issues. 

The deed restriction issue can be argued and also, any new developer will have to go thru SEQRA again and the plaintiff’s in that action and others can still contest the Zoning/definition issue – hence the need to submit the paperwork for a decision.

Oral argument doesn’t have to be had – we can all  “submit”. 

 I will advise the Court, as attorney, the other plaintiffs still wish to proceed so far, but I will no longer be a party plaintiff/appellant.

Because of Judge Lefkowitz’s bizarre and wrongful opinion on the “institutional use” definition, the other plaintiiffs/appellants will still proceed. 

Too, because the two actions were wrongfully “joined” for a single trial, the Gedney SEQRA part may still have to be submitted for a decision (because of the Lefkowitz errors), just without my name as a party plaintiff/Appellant.

This is still being discussed. Should any new builder/owner wish to build an institution on the FASNY Property (ALL STILL zoned R1:30,000 ONLY) that issue can be contested anew or the deed restriction issues can be appealed this go round on a “framed issue” basis.” 

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