Yorktown Smart Growth
Planning Board, 5/7/2012
Four members of Yorktown Smart Growth, Jonathan Nettlefield, Paul Moskowitz, Olivia Buehl and Babette Ballinger, had an informal discussion with the board about the group’s goals and how they could work with the Planning Board. Chairman Fon reminded them that the board wasn’t pro or anti development but was only concerned about “responsible development.”
Mr. Nettlefield explained that the group was concerned about long term decisions and wanted the town to follow the principals of smart growth and to encourage residents to become more involved in the planning process. We’re not a preservationist group, he told the board. He said the groups supports the Comprehensive Plan and wants to see it followed.
Planning Board members welcomed the group’s interest , indicating that they encouraged the group to provide the board with any information they might have. Mr. Kincart noted that board members were required to take continuing education classes and that some of these might involve smart growth. He said he considered the group a special interest group, like groups supporting open space or athletic fields, and that it could play an important role in educating people about the planning process.
Ms. Kutter suggested that members of the group attend Planning Board meetings and participate in the process.We’d like to hear from the public, she said, on issues like screening and whether parking lots should be in front of or in the rear of buildings. While some aspects of a development are done “as of right, she noted, there was still opportunity for the public to provide feedback.
Mr. Flynn added that it was also important for members of the group to follow Town Board meetings as it was the Town Board that controlled rezoning. In response, Mr. Nettlefield noted that despite the fact that several people had spoken out against the Croton Overlook rezoning and the only person who spoke in favor of it was the developer’s attorney, the Town Board voted to rezone the property.
Mr. Moskowitz said he was pleased that more attention has been paid over the past year to take a development’s carbon footprint into account. The next step, he added, was that more attention had to be paid to the issue.