The Sidewalks of White Plains


The Sidewalks of White Plains:

Planning Board alleges German School violates enrollment cap.

Advises Zoning Board to deny German School request for cap increase and right to build access to North Street through Kempner property.

Special to WPCNR from a WPCNR Reporter.

Interview with Mike Graessle by John Bailey


CityLine: April 4 and April 24, 2001 -- City Hall

A WPCNR CitizeNetReporter on the scene for the April 4 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting advises that the White Plains Department of Planning advised the Zoning Board strongly to deny the ongoing German School request for an enrollment cap increase contingent on constructing an access road to the school from North Street.

Our reporter tells that Susan Habel, Deputy Commissioner of Planning, accused the German School of understating its enrollment by not including the children attending the Kindercare program at the German School. The WPCNR correspondent said William Null, the attorney representing the German School, appeared "sandbagged" by the allegation, and denied it, saying that the students in Kindercare were included.

The hearing on the matter was adjourned to the May 2, 2001 meeting. However, our correspondent says the tortuous effort of the German School to find a solution that expands their cap restriction on the number of students they can allow to attend the Partridge Road facility (500) is about to end in a denial of their request.

Denial of the German School cap increase by the ZBA will also take away hope of relief from inner neighborhood traffic in the Havilands Manor neighborhood. The German School had planned to acquire the Kempner property at 800 North Street, preserve the house on the property, and build an access road to North Street. However, they tied this to increasing the cap.

WPCNR contacted Mike Graessle, Commissioner of Planning, to confirm this status of the request. He said the Planning Department was opposed to granting an cap increase and the new access road through the Kempner property. He also charged the school has already exceeded its cap limit by not including the Kindercare students. Graessle cautioned, though, that it was up to the Zoning Board of Appeals to make its own decision.


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