YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Weyant, a proposed 36-unit rental community, has drawn a strong response from neighboring residents, even while in the earliest stages of development.
The community is designed for the 2.6 acre parcel that sits west of the Roma Building on Crompond Road. Currently, it is residentially zoned, but the applicant seeks transitional zoning, which allows the board to rezone a particular property to be compatible with the surrounding area. Concept plans feature 36 units, divided into two, three-level buildings with six apartments on each floor. The proposed units vary in size from 750 feet for a one-bedroom to 1,200 feet for a two-bedroom. Rents are estimated at between $1,500 and $2,000 a month.
At the most recent work session, the project’s applicant, local contractor John DeVito and his team, which includes Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants and attorney Albert A. Capellini, presented another round of concept plans to the town board, which encouraged the team to move forward by submitting a formal application.
After several concerned residents came to the last work session, DeVito and his son, Kyle, met with some in an effort to address concerns, which includes possible traffic caused by the proposed main access to the site on Hamblyn Street off Route 202. Additionally, they said, they met with the planning board and fire safety board.
The most recent plans include an alternative access point on Crompond Road and 2.2 parking spaces per unit, to address neighbors’ concerns about off-site parking and traffic, Capellini said at the meeting. Supervisor Michael Grace suggested that when filing the formal application, DeVito present all of the plan’s versions featuring alternate entrances and exits.
Additionally, DeVito said the team has engaged traffic consultant, Phillip Grealy, who Deputy Supervisor Gregory Bernard said has data on the area as he is involved with the proposed 14,000-square-foot addition to the nearby Pied Piper Preschool on Crompond Road.
Grace said he doesn’t think the proposed units will generate the traffic neighbors anticipate and believes the general consensus of the Planning Board and Planning Department, as well as the town board, is that the project is a “good idea.”
Previously, Grace has said that, if successful, this property could be representative of the diverse housing the board intends to promote in light of last year’s repeal of the town’s affordable housing law, which was a hotly debated issue. He and other councilmen have referenced the long-debated Depot Square project, and how this additional unit might contribute the board’s vision of the increased “walkability” of downtown Yorktown. The Depot Square project would involve building a new “town center” where the highway garage is currently located.
Grace mentioned at both meetings that the town’s work sessions were not intended to air residents’ concerns and he took a few minutes to explain the process of how plans are passed through the various boards and how residents can express themselves at an eventual public hearing.
After a formal application, all concerns will be heard, he said.
“The hearings will continue until we’ve vetted all the issues,” Grace told them.
Paul Bain, who has been vocal at both work sessions and attended the meeting between neighbors and DeVito, said that while most of his neighbors are concerned about traffic, he is concerned about how the proposed development might affect the value of the residential properties in the surrounding areas. Bain, who moved to Yorktown with his family three years ago looking for the suburban, “small town” feel Yorktown offers, said he is worried that the units might end up vacant and eventually become below-market-rate housing. He believes property values could be negatively affected as it might change the suburban perception of the area. Additionally he said he isn’t sure young professionals (one of the propoasal’s target markets) are interested in moving to this area for the price of those apartments, adding that most of Yorktown’s residents that he knows and has spoken to are young families like his own. The 2010 census supports this, with 77 percent of Yorktown’s residents belonging to” family households,” consisting statistically of 3.2 members.
Ambient light, garbage cans and noise are among his other concerns, as his home abuts the property.
A public hearing will be announced as the project moves forward.