MEMO TO PLANNING: HEADS UP TO FARRELL BUILDERS ON THE RIDGEWAY CLUB PROPERTY. DO WATER STUDY NOW BEFORE SITE PLAN PRESENTATION

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AERIAL VIEW OF THE RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB AT TIME IT WAS SOLD DECEMBER 3, 2021–ONE YEAR AGO.

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. November 30, 2022:

Subject: for the Planning Board . . .a suggestion for the Farrell Estates project

Regarding the Farrell Estates project. . .you could save time and money with less misinformation for everyone involved if the City ordered (with reimbursement by Farrell) an independent “detailed water flow analysis” for the old golf course property. . .now rather than later.

Because an independent “detailed water flow analysis” will determine how many houses can be safely built according to current zoning. . .and will insure that the new construction does not add more water problems to existing Gedney Farms neighborhood homes.

And by knowing the right number of new houses before all the thousand page environmental reports are submitted. . .all the other major issues of traffic, roads, sidewalks, setbacks, fencing, etc. will fall more easily into place.

Dear White Plains Planning Board Members,

We are Marie and Ron Rhodes of 22 Robinhood Road where we have lived for the past 43 years on property bordering Parcel B of the old golf course property.  And we like the idea of new single family homes coming into our neighborhood. . .providing they can be built without risk to surrounding home owners.   

As you already know 100 years or so ago the original developer of this golf course covered up underground streams with piping and in the process created an unusual golf course consisting of 4 Parcels of land with each Parcel separated by public streets and private homes.  To us it appears that he also had a concern with water issues and because he lived on Oxford Road, he may have created each Parcel to be “sloped” away from Oxford rather than being flat surfaces.  And most of the surrounding residential properties he created at the same time of his golf course were also sloped to drain onto the golf course property.  Surrounding homes like ours have been dealing with water challenges for as long as we have been here. . .so we are concerned about a new developer making our current water issues worse.  

For instance, over our own 40+ yeas of living here we have experienced all types of weather conditions on Parcel B of the old golf course.  In his preliminary plans Farrell is planning to build 4 homes right near our home where there is about a 3 ft drop down from the rest of Parcel B. . .on land which floods after rainfalls.  And even if homes are built there without basements. . .we believe that these homes will have water on their 1st floors during every rainfall.  For us this is an indication that maybe Farrell’s Consultants do not know as much as they should about the specific water issues and problem areas.  Our concern is whatever Farrell’s possible water solutions are. . .they could cause problems for ourselves and neighbors’ own properties.  And if Farrell’s new houses are also being built on top of the underground streams our problems may be greater. . .as even in the prior FASNY discussions we have never seen a current map on where these underground streams and pipes are actually located.

Strangely no one from FASNY or now Farrell has ever knocked on our door and asked our opinions on what we have seen and experienced with water flow while living next to the golf course for so long.  There are other areas on the old golf course that also flood and you would have to speak to residents there to get their specific water concerns.  The Consultants Diego and Zarin during their years representing FASNY were less than forthcoming and transparent and like all consultants they follow the instructions of those who pay their fees.  Recently Diego told the residents of Gedney Farms that “he walked the golf course property”.  Does this mean his day or so of walking gave him as much info as the residents like ourselves who have lived here for years?  And he also informed residents that we will have to “wait for his Storm Water Plan” to see what Farrell’s solutions to the water issues are.  For us this is unacceptable as after Farrell sells his 99 homes and leaves along with Diego and Zarin to go on to their next projects. . .who would residents look to for “remediation” if the Farrell and his consultants’ water changes and solutions do not work?

A good starting point would be for the Planning Board to require a current map identifying all of the underground streams and pipes to see how many of Farrell’s 99 new houses are being planned for development over underground streams. 

Our suggestion is that the City should order (with reimbursement by Farrell) an independent “detailed water flow analysis” taking into account the sloping of the original course and surrounding homes, the underground streams and current flooding areas.  In other words have an independent and detailed water evaluation of Farrell’s proposed 99 new home development done now and be transparent with the results. . .so everyone can get a feeling up front on how many houses can safely be built.

Thanks in advance for trying to safeguard current residents,  

Marie and Ron Rhodes         

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