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Progressive Yorktown Shares Thought with Planning Board

A last thought on Costco as the open period for comments ends.


Dear Members of the Yorktown Planning Board,

Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown did not ask supporters of Costco to write again and again, which the opposition has done, as I understand it, but I would like to offer one last sentiment collectively on our supporters' behalf as we meet the deadline of the open period.

That is, time and again, Yorktown citizens have shared with me their conviction that, should the Costco application not be approved, that would be the death of the "Progress with Preservation" slogan of the town.

As one neighbor shared with me just over this past weekend:

"If the Town does not welcome a great company like Costco with open arms, we will perpetuate our reputation of the last 30 years for being 'anti-business.'  What other decent company would want to spend money or time trying to buck the elitist, anti-development forces that want to keep Yorktown in the 19th century?"

Please consider the importance of the Costco question, not only for its immediate benefits to the town but also for its very future as a viable business opportunity for other companies.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Primavera
for
Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown

Jim McKean December 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Why, instead of offering any substantive reasons in favor of this development you're being paid to promote, do you spend so much time mischaracterizing those people who have raised some very serious concerns about the scale of it, and the impact it will have on our community? There could be a good, open, honest debate about this; but instead over and over again, rather than address the issues, you choose personal attacks. It's just sad.
James Bankhart December 21, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Seriously, that is no place for a walking Hamlet.in that spot since there is no way to walk there from anywhere. It would still require a lot of parking since people would drive there. From a very detailed report in the Wall Street Journal, Costco is the least evil of the large warehouse operations. Wall Street analysts don't like the fact they pay their employees too much and offer better benefits at lower costs than anyone in the industry. Their demographic is fairly upscale since they carry more upscale merchandise than BJs or Sams. There are places that you can and should have a walking Hamlet in Town. The closest thing we have is the Heights area which cannot grow. Front street was an option, but they are putting a garbage dump there. The Shub Oak area has promise with good planning. Other than that everything else is residential. I would not call you elitists, I would say you are focusing on one small spot when the big picture is far more important.
William Primavera December 21, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Mr. Bankhart, I haven't heard anything about a garbage dump on Front Street...where did you get that impression? However, there is developing interest in a walkable town center there to replace the highway department garage. There should be more news on that in the near future. It would make more sense than the location next to the Taconic that people can't get to without a car. I enjoy your more informed observations on the Costco matter.
Area Man December 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM
The proposed site is bad for both a Costco and a walkable hamlet. The traffic will be horrible for the former and no one will walk up that hill for the latter. Just my opinion, of course.
Jonathan Nettelfield December 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Two points from the threads above: 1. The author of the post apparently criticizes opponents of the development from encouraging people to "write and write again". Leaving aside that many of the arguments have substantive concerns, this is a little disingenuous when the author himself is a paid consultant to the developer, i.e. paid to write such letters. Whatever one's views on the development, the great majority of those opposed to it are marshaling their time and efforts because they genuinely believe it is the wrong solution for this prime piece of developable real estate. 2. While it is difficult to imagine, the site is perfect for a completely different kind of development that so far has not made an appearance in Yorktown: a twenty-first century directed, mixed use, walkable hamlet of the kind the shapers of the Comp Plan envisioned and which enlightened planners and communities are creating in other places. The kind of development that encourages community building and begins to address the long-term issues of suburban sprawl. Such a development would require all of the Bear Mountain triangle as land for development but a big box warehouse club and giant car park at its nexus would effectively be a poison pill for the rest of the land. When Disneyland was created in a swamp in Florida (and the naysayers said it couldn't be done because nothing like it had been before), it was conceived as a whole, and wasn't started by first putting in a factory.

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