WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. Statement from the Gedney Association. October 3, 2018:
The Gedney Association announced Sunday that it intends to appeal the court decision dismissing its lawsuit challenging the approval of the French American School of New York (FASNY) plan for a regional school in the middle of Gedney Farms neighborhood.
The Association believes clear requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) were neglected and Judge Lefkowitz decision to be in conflict with her earlier findings.
The Judge mistakenly concluded that FASNY’s moratorium on any new development on the property satisfied laws governing segmentation which requires a development plan consider the entire property not only segments. In fact, FASNY’s moratorium commitment related only to its plans and not to other developers.
The Gedney Association will also appeal the Judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking enforcement of the private Deed Restriction prohibiting Institutional Use on the property.
The language of the Deed Restriction is perfectly clear: Institutional Use is prohibited. Many home buyers in the surrounding neighborhood purchased their homes with the assurance of this long-standing covenant.
Despite the specific language in the Deed Restriction the Judge decided to define what an institution is. As one incredulous member of the local press (WPCNR) stated Webster’s Dictionary defines an institution as a school.
Lastly, the Association finds the Judge’s statement implying that the Association is advocating a “slavish servitude” to the City’s Comprehensive Plan alarming.
This conflicts with established land use law in New York whereby governmental bodies must not only consider but, in fact, comply with its Comprehensive Plan in deciding land use matters.
Indeed, the City’s Comprehensive Plan was updated in recent years and clearly stipulated that the property in question should be developed at the lowest possible density given its environmental sensitivity.