YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The Planning Board approved construction of a 45-year-old local business’s new warehouse at its meeting on Monday, July 13.

Atlantic Appliance, a Yorktown retail staple since 1975, won approval for the construction of a two-story, 25,720-square-foot building on two parcels comprising nearly 5 acres at 2010 Maple Hill St. It will move from its current location across the street at 50 Triangle Center and will neighbor the Yorktown Post Office and Sunshine Starts preschool.

The new building will include retail, office and warehouse space for its 30 employees, as well as Yorktown’s first “green roof,” a vegetated roof that helps reduce stormwater runoff, energy use and the “heat island effect.” The heat island effect, or urban heat island, is an urban or metropolitan area that is warmer than surrounding areas due to human activity. 

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Other environmental protections are incorporated into the property design such as a stormwater treatment plan that includes routing the site runoff to a treatment basin before being discharged into the Hallocks Mill Brook, the removal of invasive species such as reeds and dead trees on wetlands, along with clearing debris such as shopping carts and lawn chairs that have polluted an overflow of the brook. 

More than 120 trees will be removed from the main parcel to make room for the building’s structure. However, under the town’s tree ordinance, the developer Site Design Consultants agreed to plant 107 new trees and 122 shrubs will be planted in the wetlands buffer and incorporated into the site’s landscaping. Between the two parcels of 4.6 acres, only 1.5 acres of trees will be cut down where the building will be located. The 3.1-acre parcel will not be disturbed aside from mitigation and restoration. Deer fencing will be maintained for three years around the site to protect the new trees and shrubs as they grow.

Many residents took issue with the removal of the large number of trees at the public hearing on the project at the last Planning Board meeting, on Monday, June 22.

At the July 13 meeting, a letter from resident Linda Miller was read by Planning Board Chairman Richard Fon. The letter was submitted within the 10-day open comment period after the public hearing.

In the letter, Miller questions the mitigation plans, accusing the Planning Board of accepting wetlands mitigation as both a double-duty wetlands and tree mitigation plan. 

However, Planning Board member John Kinkart said the board has thoroughly reviewed the mitigation plans and feels Steve Marino of Site Design Consultants, the design team on the project, has addressed concerns about both the wetlands and the trees on the property. He added later that the measures taken to improve aspects of the area far outweigh the loss of 1.5 acres [of trees] “that is situated between two commercial buildings on a whole commercial strip, across the street from one of the largest downtown developments” in Yorktown.

Planning Board member Aaron Bock added that he felt the mitigation plan as a whole is satisfactory because it works in several ways to offset the loss of trees and woodlands on the site.

Atlantic Appliance owner Joey Vukaj said the reason for the new location is an increase in demand. He added that while the business has outgrown its current location, he wouldn’t think to relocate anywhere but in Yorktown.

“It would be like the Yankees moving out of the Bronx,” Vukaj said. “The new store is going to be bigger and much nicer.”

He added that he hopes the new store will be open for Labor Day 2021 and expects to open a satellite store in Mount Kisco later this year.

Supervisor Matt Slater, who sits on the Planning Board, said the town is thrilled the local business has chosen to reinvest and expand in Yorktown.

“As Yorktown emerges from the pandemic shutdown, we are determined to make our community a business-friendly choice for local companies and newcomers,” Slater said. “Our commitment to revitalizing Yorktown includes pre-application meetings with business owners, expedited permit processes and an ongoing modernization of land uses to meet the needs of 21st century businesses, consumers and residents.”