Town Board Special Meeting
Route 202 Corridor
February 23, 2012
Supervisor Michael Grace convened a special “stakeholders” meeting to discuss the future of the Route 202 corridor from the Taconic Parkway to Lexington Ave.
Invited to the meeting were property owners along the corridor and county and state officials. A representative of Congresswoman Nan Hayworth’s office was also present.
Calling the corridor a “poster child” for inaction, Supervisor Grace said that the $3 million spent on studying the corridor would have been better spent actually making improvements. He said it was time to blow the dust off the studies and make improvements before the situation got worse. His goal in calling the meeting was to establish a public/private partnership that could help finance the estimated that $10-$15 million would be needed to make the required road and drainage improvements. He said there would be significant gains in terms of tax dollars and jobs generated as a result of the improvement and resulting new development. The supervisor also cited the need for a regional approach to handle drainage and stormwater from the corridor in order to alleviate flooding conditions affecting property owners on the south side of Route 202.
One idea proposed for the corridor was the creation of a boulevard-like landscaped median strip with turning lanes, although a representative of the NYS DOT said that there could be access issues with this type of approach.
Representing Costco, Mr. Breslin said that his development team was prepared to work with local officials and residents to address any of their concerns.
Addressing the comments of a member of Yorktown Smart Growth who expressed concern that Costco would hurt BJs and other mom and pop shops, the owner of Staples Plaza said that what retailers want is more retail which bring more traffic and that he was not concerned about the proposed Costco. That’s why, he added, Bed Bath and Beyond had moved from Staples Plaza to the Cortlandt Town Center.
Charles Monaco, the owner the 100 acre State Land property reminded the audience that 30 years ago when he wanted to bring Home Depot to Yorktown, he was almost “lynched” at meetings. And Al Capellini, the attorney for several property owners along Route 202, said that existing problems can’t be used as a justification to say no to future development. The town, he said, has to be willing to solve the problems.
The NYS DOT representative advised the group that with less state money available, the town should look to incremental changes along Route 202, not a one shot improvement. He added that the difficulties associated with constructing the Bear Mountain Parkway extension (financial as well as environmental) were the reason why that plan has not progressed.
County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz advised the Town to initiative “adult” discussions with Cortlandt, Somers and Peekskill regarding the allocation of the remaining capacity in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District treatment plant. He noted that the plant has a 10 million MGD capacity and is currently treating approximately 6.5-7 million MGD.
Joe Visconti, president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce said that all groups should work together to facilitate the development of the corridor and said Yorktown has to move forward as competing developments were being proposed in Mahopac and Cortlandt.