Town Board

February 5, 2019



1. Presentations set for February 12th meeting

            Economic Development and Revitalization Committee

            Public Safety


2. Jefferson Valley Mall

Stating that he wanted to correct the record on the Mallís decision not to proceed with the proposed new building at the northeast corner of the site, Town Attorney Abbate explained that because the site plan previously approved by the Town Board did not conform to the Zoning Code two variances were needed, one for the size of the lot where the new building would be, and a second for the setback of the building. He explained that only the Zoning Board can grant variances. He said that the ZBA never asked the Mall to revise its site plan and that it was the Mallís decision to withdraw its application before the ZBA.


Commenting on the statement made by former supervisor Grace at the previous meeting that the Mall had been given bad advice about the need for a variance, Mr. Abbate added that the Mall was represented by a very knowledgeable Westchester law firm and lawyers from the Oxman Group who currently provide legal services to the town were not involved in the decision. 


Later in the meeting, during Courtesy of the Floor, former councilman Greg Bernard who was on the board when the amended site plan was approved, stated that variances werenít needed and that the Town Boardís site plan approval was all that was needed.


3. Courtesy of the Floor

Affordable housing set aside law: Jay Kopstein asked the board if it had received the answers to many of the questions raised at the previous meeting. He also presented an analysis he had done showing a $400,000 loss in tax revenue over a 15 year period resulting from affordable housing. (It was not clear what housing units were included in his analysis.)


In response to the boardís earlier question, Mel Tanzman presented the board with a copy of the list of Westchester municipalities showing that 68% have affordable housing laws.


Some residents spoke in support of the proposed set aside; others against. Supervisor Gilbert said that the town was still gathering information for the other questions.


Later in the meeting, the board voted unanimously to refer out the proposed set aside law for comment.


Abortion: Former supervisor Grace read a statement opposing the recently passed state Reproductive Health Act that made changes to the stateís abortion laws and asked the board to pass a resolution opposing the law. Other residents spoke in support of Mr. Grace and others in opposition. One resident advised the board that before taking any action on the proposed resolution, the board needed more information about the law, including understanding where Mr. Grace was misstating what was in the law.  Councilmen Diana and Lachteman said they would not let the issue die and wanted the resolution discussed at the next work session but Supervisor Gilbert said he hadnít read the law or the resolution yet.


Tree Law: In response to comments from Robert Puff questioning why it was taking so long for the committee charged with reconciling differences in a proposed tree to complete its work, Councilwoman Roker said she has been advised by the planning director that the committee will have a report to the board by the end of the month. When Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary and speaking on behalf of Advocates for a Better Yorktown) asked the board to place the tree law on the Feb 26 work session agenda so it could be scheduled for a Mach public hearing, Ms. Roker said she wasnít ready to commit to those dates. In a second comment, Mr. Puff suggested that whatever the new law contained, it should include a 5 year sunset provision so that the town wouldnít have to redo the law every five years.


4. Quinlan Street cell tower

(See Town Board 1-15-2019.) The board voted to approve a lease for the cell tower for a period of 10 years with an option for nine additional five year renewals. The town will receive $2,000 for the first year of the lease or 35% of the colocation revenue, whichever is greater.  The resolution is subject to a permissive referendum.


5. Tax certiorari

The board approved a tax certiorari settlement for the Winery for the years 2012 thru 2018. The amount of the refund was not discussed.


6. Veterans tax exemption

The board authorized the exemption for a certain group of veterans under Section 458-a(10) of the New York State Real Property Tax law.


7. Senior Van

The board authorized the purchase a 14 passenger van and serving counter for the senior center from The Field Foundation at a cost of $65,000.


6. Electrical work contract

In an item not on the agenda, the board award a bid to Hanover Electric for providing electrical services to the town.