Yorktown Landmarks Commission Maintains Eligibility for State Grants

Lynn Briggs, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, holds up a “Homes of Historic Distinction” plaque at the March 7 town board meeting. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is still eligible for state funds, thanks to a small revision made to the town code.

Under the federally sponsored Certified Local Government (CLG) Program, Yorktown is among 76 municipalities that maintain a Certified Local Government status, which it received in 2006. Administered through the State Historic Preservation Office, the program provides services to help communities protect, preserve and celebrate their historic resources.

The program offers participants a host of benefits, including eligibility for grants designated exclusively for CLG projects, according to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website. To qualify, a municipality must have established preservation legislation and an appointed preservation review commission.

Sign Up for E-News

Unbeknownst to town officials, a small change made to Yorktown’s landmarks preservation chapter in 2012 threw it out of compliance with the state’s model law. The revision inserted a requirement that the commission obtain written consent from owners of a property that may be subject to a designation proposal. Supervisor Michael Grace said at the March 7 town board meeting that the line was inserted to ensure resident input and consent during the designation process.

“We were going to lose tens of thousands of dollars in potential funding if we lost our certification,” Lynn Briggs, commission chairman, said.

Once it was brought to the commission and board’s attention six months ago through an incidental correspondence with the CLG program, the two entities quickly worked together to remedy the compliance issue. A resolution removing the words “shall obtain written consent” was passed at the March 7 meeting after a swift public hearing.

“The town board has been very supportive of preservation,” Briggs said, “Having our status secure really helps us build credibility.”

Grace particularly touted the commission’s recently enacted initiative to designate Homes of Historic Distinction (featured regularly in this paper). For $100, a Home of Historic Distinction is marked with a plaque stating its historical significance. The commission works alongside homeowners to research the homes and decide what is put on the plaque.

Briggs said homeowners should not be concerned about being forced to comply with any landmark designation standards, as the town board ultimately has approval authority when it comes to designating landmarks. Additionally, she said, the commission doesn’t move forward with projects without homeowner support, and that typically homeowners taking initiative is what alerts the commission to possibly qualified sites.

With its status intact, Briggs said the commission is going to continue working with town officials to preserve Yorktown’s historical resources. She said that if a structure of historic significance can’t be saved, perhaps parts of it can be repurposed into something new, an idea that, she said, punctuates the town’s motto, “Progress with Preservation.”

“We want progress,” she said. “But we also want people to be mindful of preserving this incredibly rich legacy that we have here in our town. I think we can do that, especially with the nice partnership we feel we’ve established with the local government.”

Additionally, Briggs stressed that the town’s history is something the commission intends to be enjoyed by the entire community and she encourages resident input.

Currently there are 14 designated landmarks in Yorktown and 20 Homes of Historic Distinction, although a study conducted by the historic architectural firm, Larsen Fisher, identified over 200 houses of notable interest in Yorktown. Briggs encourages readers with information regarding the history of their homes to reach out to Nancy Milanese at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cuomo Shores Up His Left Flank (at Our Expense)

We keep hearing how the Republicans are bought and paid for by the NRA. I recently explained to you the truth about this myth. The reality is the Democrats are the ones who are bought and paid for. Not by the NRA, but the environmentalists.

You thought I was going to say public sector unions, didn’t you? Well, they own both parties in New York. However, the environmentalists pull the ...

Appreciating Two Amazing Role Models

As difficult as this winter has been with the power outages and stormy weather, it pales in comparison to my overwhelming sense of dread as I prepared for the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing on March 20. On that day, I know my mind will inevitably flash back to her last painful hours, when she valiantly struggled just to stay alive. Yet, I’m equally certain I will remember the ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Storm Aftermath and Update

March 22, 2018

During my travels throughout the storm and its aftermath, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand how hard our town employees worked on behalf of the residents of Yorktown, whether riding with the Highway Department while they were plowing the roads, assisting at the YCCC warming facility, working with the staff at the Town Emergency Operations Center, bringing food to residents at Beaver Ridge ...

A Half-Baked Column

“I think it’s time we retired this oven,” I said to my husband as I displayed a sheet of blackened sweet potato fries. “Even the dog won’t eat these.”

“Sure he will,” he said, tossing some fries on the floor. The dog immediately sucked them down.

“Not my point,” I said.

We had known that our oven was on its last burners for ...

Read Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Thanks for All You Do

March 22, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to tell you how much we enjoy receiving the weekly Yorktown News. It is a consistent source of local news, new business, opinions and sports.

We recently had no power for seven days due to the storms, and regularly monitored Yorktown News’ Twitter page for town updates. Your team demonstrated its dedication by issuing an edition despite the lack of power ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...