Gedney Farms Open Letter to White Plains Common Council: The Future of the Ridgeway Country Club. Requests “Discussion” with Council on Preserving Open Space, Locking in Current Zoning (Forbidding “MacMansions”) Forever

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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From the Board of Directors of the Gedney Association. October 9, 2019:

Dear Members of the Common Council:

As you know the French American School of New York (FASNY) put approximately 48 acres on the market for sale earlier this year. More recently we have learned from potential purchasers that FASNY is entertaining offers for the entire former Ridgeway Country Club property.

The former golf course property is one of the largest remaining open spaces in the City. Importantly, the entire property is designated as an environmentally sensitive site characterized by watercourses, wetlands, steep slopes, a lake and pond. The Comprehensive Plan states that should a golf course no longer be feasible then the property should be developed at the lowest density residential zone.

In recognition of these features, the Common Council, a number of years ago, unanimously rezoned the property to the R-30 zone. The R-30 zone permits detached single-family homes on minimum lots of 30,000 square feet.

The former Ridgeway Country Club property is characterized by other unique features. Primary among them are that:

  • it is divided into four tracts separated by local neighborhood streets; 
  • it adjoins the historic Gedney Farms neighborhood, the oldest subdivision in the City; and
  • it threads through the Gedney Farms single family neighborhood.

It is not a single, large 129 acre parcel separated from the adjoining properties. Indeed, the former golf course’s parcels are narrow, ribbon-like tracts that back up upon single-family detached homes. Therefore, it is essential that any proposed development be in conformity with the existing character of the Gedney Farms neighborhood and adhere to the R-30 zoning classification. Any subdivision plan must be carefully designed so all non-buildable areas are deducted before any calculation of the number of R-30 residential lots.

Lastly, The Gedney Association expects the Common Council to mandate preservation of the same amount of usable open space as proposed in earlier applications.

When appropriate, we are prepared to discuss in greater detail the neighborhood’s views and concerns regarding the possible development of this very important property with you.

Very truly yours,

The Board of the Gedney Association

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