Opposition to a proposed rezoning request to pave the way for a 150-unit rental project in Jefferson Valley continued last week.
Several residents urged the Yorktown Town Board not to consider rezoning a 19.3-acre site off East Main Street from R1-20 to R-3. Diversified Properties LLC filed a formal petition to the board last September for the rezoning as it seeks to build 11 two-story buildings with one and two-bedroom rental units in a development called Summit Hill at Yorktown.
Louise DeMarco repeatedly referred to the Comprehensive Plan the town adopted in 2010 in lobbying against the rezoning. Others cited the increased traffic the project would bring to Route 6N and the surrounding roadways.
“We have traffic problems up there,” Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said. “It’s a major issue. It’s a very dangerous road.”
The developer has mentioned possibly contributing to the six-figure cost of installing a traffic signal in the area.
Summit Hill is proposed to include 66 one-bedroom units and 84 two-bedroom units, plus a community center. The plan also calls for 300 parking spaces (100 in garages, 100 on the driveway in front of the garage and 100 additional spaces).
In a letter to the editor this week, Katherine Quinn, executive director of Support Connection and a resident of Shrub Oak, cautioned town officials not to get caught up in public opinion, but to analyze the facts.
“The needs of the community must be assessed. Yorktown is not the place it was 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. Society and demographics have changed. There is a great need for options in housing that include rentals as very few currently exist,” she wrote. “Whether it is seniors selling their homes and looking to rent, millennials who can’t afford or do not want to own a home, families that are looking to rent, at the current time, Yorktown cannot offer much. This forces people to leave, taking their spending dollars with them. Within the last few weeks, six people ranging from mid-twenties to late seventies, told me that they were moving. The reason? They want to rent and hardly any rentals exist in Yorktown.”
Supervisor Ilan Gilbert and Councilwoman Alice Roker said at last week’s meeting the board was far from making a decision on the rezoning application and would like an independent traffic study be conducted.
“This is not a done deal. This is far from a done deal,” Gilbert said. “We need a lot of concrete answers before we make a decision.”
“There are more questions than answers,” Roker said. “We want to know what their history is in building this type of development.”