YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Two proposed local laws that will reduce parking requirements and allow local businesses and developers to utilize more of their property were approved Tuesday night by the Yorktown Town Board,
The local laws amend §300-182.A and §300-89.A and will lower the requirement of five spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area in commercial zones, including the Jefferson Valley Mall, to four spaces per 1,000.
“One of the major ways in which towns are looking to revitalize and redevelop their commercial centers, the number one suggestion is to reduce the required parking area,” said Supervisor Michael Grace.
Grace believes the changes will promote re-development of Yorktown’s five hamlets, encourage parking agreements between multiple merchants, and provide greater flexibility for design and development. Yorktown’s Town Code requires parking spaces to be 8 ½ by 18 feet, which Grace said adds up to a lot of undeveloped space.
“You have to understand that for every parking space which is used, you also have an access area to get into the parking space,” Grace said. “Our code requires about a 24-foot separation between lines of a parking space if they’re going to be across from each other. So for every two spaces now you have 8 ½ by 60 of impervious blacktop or parking lot area that would not have to be put in place.”
Grace said the five per 1,000 law, which was introduced in 1958, has continually prevented developers from building on much of the open space in Yorktown.
”It’s the tail wagging the dog,” Grace said. “There are certain pieces on Kear Street as well, there’s one block there that has a pine tree that’s been sitting there forever. And there were proposals for that lot, and the problem was parking. All the time was parking.”
Resident Paul Moskowitz was concerned about the board’s eagerness to approve the laws and believed the biggest beneficiary would be Costco Wholesale Club. Costco’s current proposal does not comply with five spaces per 1,000 square feet, but would comply if the required spaces were reduced to four. In response to Moskowitz’s concerns, the board agreed to exempt Costco from the new law.
“Costco has nothing to do with this, and as a show of good faith I have no problem letting Costco run on its own merits,” Grace said. “It has nothing to do with Costco. Absolutely nothing.”