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Yorktown Board Adopts Accessory Structure Law

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Following a lawsuit, months of drafted legislation and a building moratorium, the Yorktown Town Board voted to adopt a new building accessory structure law Tuesday night.

The structure law, which was the main cause for a moratorium enacted in August and extended through to December , had to be changed after the town said a Yorktown resident wanted to build an accessory structure that was larger than his actual home.

The amended law restricts the size of an accessory structure in certain zones to be 80 percent of the footprint of the main structure, and makes it so that if the accessory structure is going to be 50 percent or larger of the main structure, it must have a 20 foot setback. This law created the maximum footprint size, as well as changed the setback from 10 to 20 feet in the rear of the yard.

Resident Nick Witkowich, who was involved in the lawsuit, has been a very active voice in explaining his concerns to the town board in the past several months. After Tuesday’s resolution passed, Witkowich said his concerns were met in regards to the size of the structures, but said the code still left some things unanswered.

“I think it’s good that they passed it, but it still leaves some ambiguity—and that’s with the height,” Witkowich said. “This is the one thing that I think they really need to get right, and that’s the height of these accessory structures.”

Building Inspector John Winter said reducing or limiting the height too much would limit people from being able to build more than just a garage and add some storage overhead. He also said that under the previous law, an accessory structure can be 15 feet high at the midpoint. This could lead to issues if the midpoint of the roof isn’t the actual highest point of the roof, which was the ambiguity addressed by Witkowich, Winter said. The town board, specifically board member Nick Bianco, urged Winter to work with them to explain the ramifications of changing the height law to determine if they should do so.

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