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Public Invited to Tour Proposed FASNY Conservancy

A walk of the 84-acre proposed conservancy at the site of the old Ridgeway Country Club will begin Saturday at 8 a.m.

Two bird experts from the Teatown Lake Reservations will lead a walkthrough of the proposed 84-acre conservancy at the site of the former Ridgeway Country Club Saturday, according to a press release from Geoff Thompson, a spokesperson from the French-American School of New York.

The walk will cover two-thirds of the property, which would become a public nature preserve under the current FASNY proposal. The proposal would also convert 45 acres of the 129-acre property into a unified school campus.

The proposed campus on the southern end of the property would house about 1,200 students and 250 staff members. A large group of neighbors have objected to the proposal in its entirety, citing concerns over increased traffic and a change to the feel of the neighborhood.  

Charlie Roberto, a Teatown Lake Reservation trustee, and Dr. Mike Rubbo, director of conservation science at Teatown, will lead the walk starting at 8 a.m. Rubbo is currently overseeing a biodiversity study of the property for FASNY. Both have an extensive knowledge of the bird species found in the region, according to the release.

Located in Yorktown, Teatown is a leading regional environmental education center.

"The guided tour will give birders and nature lovers alike the opportunity to explore the diverse bird species at the former golf course," Thompson said in the release.

Anyone interested in attending should meet at the former Ridgeway Country Club building at 8 a.m. Reservations for the free tour can be made at info@greenstogreen.org.

The City of White Plains is currently reviewing FASNY's proposal for a special exempt permit to build on the land. Hundreds of people attended the first of two public hearings discussing the topic on Sept. 20 in City Hall.

The next public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 17.

Joan's WP September 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM
You stepped in it this time, Hugh. You said you "read it." You didn't say you wrote it. I read the letter. All the names in support of FASNY were PRINTED on the back page. There was not a single signature. It was also clear from the addresses that a few don't live in Gedney Farms. They are just people who live nearby. One couple even lives off North St., near Rosedale, too far away to be my "neighbor." As a percentage, you and the other's named in the letter are too insignificant to even register. As for the language of the letter, it sure seems familiar, like the language FASNY uses. I'm sure that you will deny it, but you are being used. You are a pawn of FASNY.
Jim M September 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Hugh I hope you are not selling your home, because its value is down because of FASNY. If the special permit gets approved the value of our homes will continue to decrease. There is a benefit to us, then we can all file to get our homes reassessed. That benefits the City of White Plains how? Who is going to be patrolling the nature preserve? Think that all the homes in the neighborhood are safer with strangers roaming around this open trail? Once the first Caterpillar starts digging up the property, and the first chain saw cuts down the 100 year old trees that stand there now, we the residents of Gedney Farms and The City of White Plains cannot reverse course. The result, one of the top 100 neighborhoods in the country destroyed, lower home prices, and reduced tax revenue for the City of White Plains.
Joan's WP September 30, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Jim, you are absolutely correct. It's amazing how some people think that is progress. What it is is the irreversible devastation of a neighborhood. I think John Botti, the FASNY parent/Board member/Conservancy spokesman, knows that. He has moved to Greenwich, CT. Why didn't he buy a home in White Plains? Doesn't FASNY alway say parents will want to live near the school? Here was a perfect opportunity to show he believed that. I know FASNY is convinced they will win the special permit. So why was he chicken? Better yet, why is he a hypocrite?
Joan's WP September 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Jim M, describing FASNY's action as a hostile takeover perfectly describes what is going on here. You nailed it.
truthbetold October 02, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Gee Hughie, are you the same Hughie who's wife was a long time French teacher and has an extensive background involving English as a second language? Is this more about the school for you and your wife then the development? Do you understand that this is not about FASNY as a school, but rather FASNY as a development in a residential area and the devastating impact this will have not only on the neighborhood but the entire school? Lets all agree for a minute that FASNY is an excellent school...and they are an excellent school operating at three different locations in Westchester. And they will still be an excellent school operating at one location but that location should not be at a location where the majority of a neighborhood and the sorrounding community does not want it because of the traffic, noise, air pollution, negative environmental issues is will cause. There is an over abundance of empty office space they can occupy and still be a great school. This conservancy is nonsense. Any developer who approached RCC contemplated GIVING (please keep in mind FASNY refuses to give up ownership to this land they claim is a "gift" to the city) the land to the City because it was unbuildable. So Hughie, if this is all about the School then you are being terribly short sighted.

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