WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The French-American School of New York has proposed building a smaller school at the former Ridgeway Country Club.
The White Plains Common Council plans to discuss the proposal on Tuesday night. An agreement could settle a lawsuit by FASNY, but also would reduce the size of a proposed nature park from 78 to 51 acres and open up some of the property for housing development.
Under the latest proposal, a school for grades six through 12 would be built on the already developed portion of the site where the clubhouse and other facilities exist. Hathaway Lane will remain open.
Pre-school through fifth grade would be eliminated from the new plan, reducing the student population by 33 percent from 950 to 640, reducing building square footage by 35 percent, and reducing traffic by 42 percent, according to the proposal.
But some area homeowners suspect the revised plan may result in new homes being built on the former golf course.
Robert Marich, a White Plains resident since 1999 and FASNY critic, said, "What’s under consideration appears to be a worst-case scenario. . . . The new plan makes it much easier for FASNY to sell off parcels for development/non-school uses."
FASNY's original $60 million plan, would have consolidated its schools in Scarsdale, Larchmont and Mamaroneck on the 131-acre site of the former golf course and country club. That project included a new pre-K through 12th-grade school and public nature park.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Common Council is expected to consider entering into a "stipulation of settlement" with FASNY.
The stipulation of settlement would not obligate the City to approve FASNY's alternative plan. The alternative plan application would focus all development on the parcel containing the former Ridgeway Country Club clubhouse, according to a press statement issued by White Plains Mayor Tom Roach.
In a separate action earlier this week, FASNY filed two easements, according to Roach's office. The first will be used for a pedestrian/bicycle pathway that will connect Robinhood Road. The second is a 51-acre conservation easement which is proposed to be used as publicly accessible open space.
In a press statement, Andrea Colombel, FASNY"s board chairperson. said, “We believe we have put forth a proposal that works for our School and addresses the most contentious issues that have been raised by some of the neighbors. We expect that the Mayor and Common Council members will agree.”