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Yorktown Denies Costco's Bid For Quick OK On DEIS

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. - Costco officials will have to keep waiting for environmental approval after the Yorktown Planning Board denied its attempt to fast-track the proposal Monday night.

Attorney Al Capellini’s request for approval on Costco’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was met with confusion by the board’s acting Chair John Flynn, who only received the revised document Friday.

“We would like you to declare that the DEIS is complete,” Capellini said.

“Without reading it?” responded Flynn, who was filling in for Richard Fon.

Capellini said he does not expect the board members to read every word of the 2,200-page document, and that the updated version does not differ greatly from previous versions, but is only “more definitive.”

Several changes in the updated plans reflect a request from the State Department of Transportation (DOT) about making the intersection near Route 202 and the Taconic State Parkway more pedestrian friendly.

The slightly re-designed plans showed that the on-site fueling station had been relocated to the east of the center, further away from any residential area. While the change will not reduce the amount of traffic, officials said they believe it will reduce congestion.

“We believe that we have addressed all the issues that were raised in a substantial way,” said Capellini, who wanted to open up the DEIS for public comment.

Despite Capellini’s persistence, Flynn rejected the request and said the board needed more time to look over the revised document.

“We just received it on Friday, and we do need time to look at it, and that’s the process,” Flynn said. “There are a lot of moving pieces here and I, for one, don’t want to take any shortcuts.”

The next step with the proposal is for board members to review the DEIS and return with comments at its next meeting. Capellini asked the board to consider a special meeting before its next scheduled meeting on Sep. 10, but that request was also denied.

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