YORKTOWN, N.Y. A small group of protesters formed Friday evening outside the proposed future home of the Costco superstore at 3200 Crompond Road.
Protesting with signs such as "We already have a BJ's" and "shop local," the group argued that Costco will increase traffic, hurt local businesses and bring a number of other environmental concerns.
"I go to the small stores. I patronize those stores. I like to be able to go into a store and buy a few items," said resident Paul Moskowitz, who believes a shopping center with smaller stores and office space would better reflect the community. "What will happen with Costco is that they threaten small businesses within the town of Yorktown."
A supporting group called Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown has argued that competition will only help other businesses in town, including the neighboring BJ's Wholesale Club. The group also believes that traffic concerns are overblown and said the state Department of Transportation has entered into a public/private partnership with Costco to make improvements along Route 202.
"The opposition is exercising its right to speak out as it sees fit, said Bill Primavera, Costco supporter and member of Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown. Those of us who know that Costco will be a great benefit to Yorktown on many levels will just rely on the facts as presented for the approval process."
The public hearing for Costco begins Monday night when the Yorktown Planning Board reviews the companys draft environmental impact statement. The 2,200-page DEIS is available for download on the town's website. Residents will have the opportunity to publicly speak or submit written comments to the planning board on issues relating to the document.
The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Nutrition Center Room at the Yorktown Community & Cultural Center at 1974 Commerce St. The hearing was moved from the board's regular meeting space in Room 104 in anticipation of the high turnout.
"I think people should get involved," Moskowitz said. "They should be involved with their community. They should attend the Planning Board meeting on Monday. If they have a say, for or against Costco, they should have their say. That's the way the democratic process works."