YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Pied Piper Preschool has proposed a nearly 14,000-square-foot addition to its existing Crompond Road building, which would allow the school to increase its enrollment.
The school, with its existing one-story 3,618-square-foot building currently has a daily enrollment of 66 students. The school would increase its daily enrollment to 136 students if the new 17,335-square-foot building is approved.
Pied Piper representatives first met with the Yorktown Planning Board in September and a public informational hearing was held in December. Town Planning Director John Tegeder said the board is grappling with several issues surrounding the project, including the size of the building and the effect it would have on parking and traffic. The board has also questioned access to the site by fire department trucks and storm water issues.
The expansion would require a Zoning Board variance for lot coverage, meaning the amount of space the building occupies. The current building occupies 12 percent of the 0.68 acre property, coming in well below the maximum of 25 percent. Pied Piper is asking for a variance, allowing the building to occupy 33 percent of the lot.
According to planning board meeting minutes, the added second floor would be specifically for a special education preschool. While the building expansion would increase enrollment, Pied Piper representatives said it needs additional space to provide services such as occupational therapy and physical therapy for the students.
If approved, the preschool would stay open during construction of the rear addition, but would close while the second floor is being constructed. The second story would overhang and create a covered play area.
Additional parking would be created along the east side of the building, though Pied Piper representatives have argued that adding students would not change the parking because students are either dropped off or bused. Drop-off is between 6:45 and 9 a.m, while dismissal is all afternoon. The school closes at 6 p.m. Left turns are currently allowed into the property, but not out.
Planning board members said the increase in students would surely add more traffic to the area, and recommended Pied Piper perform a traffic analysis looking at traffic in both directions during peak commute hours. Philip Grealy, a traffic consultant contracted by Pied Piper, reported to the planning board on Monday, Feb. 27, that traffic coming and going from the building would virtually double during peak hours.
Planning Board Chair Richard Fon asked Pied Piper to meet with Yorktown Heights Fire Department representatives and come up with a plan for truck access. Grealy said he will also continue to look at improving traffic flow through the Pied Piper parking lot.
“I think there’s a lot of things up in the air right now,” Fon said. “It sounds like you have some homework to do.”
The existing building was approved by the planning board and then constructed in 2005. A public hearing on the expansion has not been announced as board members are still debating the issues.