Members of Yorktown Smart Growth, an organization designed by residents to monitor major development projects planned for the town, has released an information kit about the effects of the proposed Costco Wholesale Club on the community.
Titled "The True Costs of Costco," the 11-page document is a summary of the likely outcomes if a major new big-box store is built at the junction of the Taconic Parkway and Route 202.
Jonathan Nettelfield, member of the group, said the kit is intended to provide residents and businesses in Yorktown and the surrounding communities with a "more realistic picture of the costs to the community of this planned development."
"In doing so it will serve as a counterweight to the '' argument being put forward by the developers and their supporters," he said.
Nettelfield said the public is often not engaged in major planning decisions, partly due to lack of time and attention, but also because the planning process is "largely controlled by developers and others who would profit from development."
In the "The True Costs of Costco," the organization cites traffic problems, noise, air pollution, toxic runoff, and other adverse environmental effects as a result of the box store coming into town. They said they believe that contrary to what they've been told, Costco would "not boost the local economy, especially when the impact on existing retailers and the cost of additional government services are factored in."
The developer has submitted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to the Planning Board, the lead agency for the project and once the board accepts the DEIS as complete, it will be posted on the town's website for review and public hearings will be conducted.
"There’s still time for the citizens and business owners in Yorktown to learn from the experiences of other towns about the real impact of a big-box store on a community," Nettelfield said.
(Click on the pdf file attached to this article to read the full document.)
According to Yorktown Chamber of Commerce president Joseph Visconti, Costco's plan calls for storm water management and a sewer line, which will tie in 10-12 homes along Old Crompond Road at the developer's cost.
In addition, he said Costco would pay $1.17 million in school taxes without a single student attending school (student costs are $25,000 per year 2011) and will contribute back to the community 1 percent of the gross sales. According to Visconti, there would be road condition improvements, creation of 140 permanent jobs and hundreds of new construction jobs .
Members said the Yorktown Smart Growth's goal is to promote the kind of growth that will benefit the long-term quality of life in Yorktown. Formed in 2011, the citizen activist organization is dedicated to providing information about major development projects and encouraging a wider participation of Yorktown residents in shaping them.
For more information, click here.
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