WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JANUARY 11, 2017:
Dear Mayor Roach and Council Members Hunt-Robinson, Kirkpatrick, Krolian, Lecuona, Martin, and Smayda,
We are writing concerning the French American School of New York (FASNY) Alternate Plan Application, and in particular, the issue of whether the proposed site, Parcel A, is an environmentally sensitive site (ESS).
We have reviewed the submission of Steven Danzer, Ph.D., dated November 29, 2016, the letter of Howard Avrutine, Esq., counsel for the Gedney Association dated November 30, 2016, and the submission of the North Street Association dated December 15, 2015.
We are in complete agreement with the views and opinions expressed in these submissions, and believe that Parcel A is an ESS for all of the reasons set forth in these submissions.
We are a complete loss to understand why the City would consider reversing the designation of Parcel A as an ESS that the Council made in Finding B-1 of the December, 2013 Environmental Findings.
FASNY was well aware of this designation back in December 2013 and it did not voice any objection at that time, so we strongly object to FASNY’s attempt to reverse this Finding nearly three years later.
We also believe that such an action is contrary to sound public policy with respect to protection of the environment.
We also are very troubled that FASNY has ignored the provisions of the Municipal Code that define an ESS as one within 100 feet of the watercourse on the property of Westchester Hills Golf Club.
There can be no rational dispute that Parcel A is an ESS based upon Mr. Danzer’s report and the express language of the relevant sections of the Municipal Code. We also agree with Mr. Danzer that Parcel A itself contains wetlands, so that it meets the definition of an ESS.
Finally, we believe that the FASNY matter poses important policy issues that go beyond the merits of FASNY’s application.
It is readily apparent that FASNY is seeking to delist Parcel A as an ESS in order to avoid the supermajority vote requirement with respect to its application for a special permit and site plan approval.
Our City enacted strong environmental protection laws nearly forty ago for the benefit of the residents of White Plains. We strongly disapprove of any attempt by a property owner to circumvent these protections to bypass the supermajority requirement, and urge you to reject this ploy of FASNY when you vote on a resolution concerning this issue.