YORKTOWN, N.Y. – After taking time to “lick its wounds,” Pied Piper pre-school returned to the Planning Board last month with a scaled down version of its expansion project.
The decades-old pre-school last appeared before the Planning Board in June 2017. Despite lobbying from parents on behalf of the school, which is located on Route 202, board members remained concerned about a lack of parking spaces and the sheer size of the building, which would have required a variance for lot coverage.
The initial proposal called for a nearly 14,000-square-foot expansion that would have increased enrollment by about 70 children. Now, Pied Piper is proposing a 7,561-square-foot expansion that would increase enrollment by 38 students. The new proposal also calls for three additional staff and two more spaces than were previously proposed, bringing the total up to 25 spaces.
“It took a little while for us to lick our wounds and recoup financially,” said Kathleen Dineen, owner of Pied Piper, at the June 11 meeting. “But the model we’re showing you tonight covers the major two concerns that the town had, so we can still do what we need to do for our growing business and to accommodate the families in Yorktown.”
The expansion would allow Pied Piper to increase its pre-school services for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds, Dineen said. There would also be a gym on the second floor. With a bigger building, Pied Piper would have also been able to offer infant and special ed programs, Dineen said, but those were scrapped in the new proposal. Those programs, she said, require a very low student/teacher ratio, and would have significantly added staff.
Pied Piper is located on a 0.68-acre parcel at 2090 Crompond Road, adjacent to the Yorktown Vineyard Community Church.
Despite the reduction in the plan and the addition of parking spaces, there were still questions about parking. Joe Riina, principal of Site Design Consultants, said there is a mutual easement between Pied Piper and the church—because their uses rarely overlap—that allows them to share parking spaces.
A member of the church, however, said there are concerns he’d like addressed in a new easement with Pied Piper, such as addressing drainage issues that create muddy conditions for parishioners. He said the church’s driveway, used frequently by Pied Piper parents and staff, is also “falling apart.”
“They’ve been great neighbors; we’ve been good to them, so we’re hoping that we can work all these things out before this is approved,” the church member said.
Because of heavy traffic on Route 202, resident Jay Kopstein said he would like to see left-hand turns out of Pied Piper prohibited.
“Signs can only be put up by a governing authority if they are going to be enforceable,” Kopstein said. “Signs that the schools put up have the value of scrap metal.”
Traffic consultant Philip Grealy said that is ultimately up to the New York State Department of Transportation.
Resident John McDonald, who lives on nearby Hamblyn Street, was concerned that the 25 parking spaces would still be insufficient when there is a school function.
Planning Board Chair Richard Fon said Pied Piper is working on agreements with neighboring properties to resolve this issue.
The public hearing was adjourned and will be kept open.