Violations Put Yorktown Sports Complex On A Short Leash

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Navajo Fields representatives have been asked to have any changes approved by the town before carrying out construction in Yorktown.
Navajo Fields representatives have been asked to have any changes approved by the town before carrying out construction in Yorktown. Photo Credit: File

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A stop-work order for the Yorktown Sports Complex at Navajo Fields has been lifted, but town officials have made it clear that any further construction violations will not be tolerated.

Supervisor Michael Grace signed off on a revised site plan map Tuesday night and approved a resolution amending the wetlands and excavation permits, which were violated when unapproved changes were made at the Navajo Street site.

“Notwithstanding what your impression is, I’m going to tell you right now our staff has worked overtime to help you as much as they possibly can,” Grace told owner C.J. Diven.  “You’ve got to cut it out. These guys are working extra hard.”

Town Board members said they did not take issue with the changes, but asked that they not be made without town approval. Grace called the project a “moving target” that is “driving my staff nuts.”

“No additional amendments will be permitted,” Grace said. “I shouldn’t have to say that. If you’re going to do something that’s not on these plans – don’t.”

One area of concern was how to delineate the “limit of disturbance” into the wetlands. While the revised map shows a combination of silt fencing and stakes at different parts of the site, environmental consultant Bruce Barber said the original plan, approved in April 2011, called for silt fencing over the entire area. He expressed concern that wooden stakes can be moved or knocked down.

In response, Grace told Diven it was his responsibility to maintain the stakes; otherwise, he would be in violation of the permit.

“If my environmental inspector goes up there and the stakes are not there, he can issue a stop-work order,” said Grace.

Despite the town’s approval, Grace acknowledged that the Department of Environmental Conservation might want Diven to mitigate even more of the wetland disturbance. Grace recommended having another location plan for the two greenhouses just in case.

Yorktown officials will make site trips to make sure the permit is not being violated. Diven and his Navajo Fields colleagues will also return in 180 days for a compliance review.

“Good luck,” said Council Member Dave Paganelli. “Make us proud up there.”

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Comments (6)

Actually, the plan for the greenhouses is none of your business. But between you and I, they're thinking about stopping paying taxes. The land has no value to the town and if they foreclose, it's a bigger liability than it's worth to maintain. Even if the town foreclosed, there's no way to demolish it. The bridges accessing the site are insufficient to get dump trucks over there. Let alone a fire truck.

There should be a public hearing on any changes on the approved site plan.
Also all neighbors should be noticed. What is the purpose of the Green- Houses. Will this site also turn into another flee market ? Or a used car lot off season.

If I'm not mistaken Mr Diven is an attorney, did have an office in town at one time, don't know if he still does, and he also has the best attorney in town for these matters. I doubt if it where you or I that Mr. Grace would say You have to cut that out as quoted in the article, and that the stop work order would be lifted. Its ok to be business friendly but they must adhere to rules & laws now, not later.

Oh, Boilermaker, you naivete is understandable. The difference between a homeowner and an entrepreneur doing illegal work is that the latter is able to hire a prominent local attorney to lubricate the wheels of Yorktown's bureaucracy.

Yorktown is very business friendly. Quality of life friendly, not so much.

Enforce our building permit laws!
Any home owner that contstructs a deck must draw an approved plan
first and submit it for approvals to the building department. There should be no double standards for a questionable operation with no track record.
The temperary - permenant structure will not generate any tax revenues.

"Cut it out."

"Make us proud up there."

"Tsk, tsk."

Mr. Diven must be shaking in his boots. There are still two greenhouse structures without the requisite CO's to occupy them. Why not just let him finish what he wants to do, prepare an as-built, submit it for approval after construction is complete? At that point they can work out compliance issues and grant variances on an as needed basis; it's not like they could possibly deny him what he wants. Do what you gotta do and then slowly try and legalize it. It's the Yorktown way.