At the end of the day, we're a relatively small town. I think we need to remember that when commenting on the site where a big-box wholesaler is being proposed, we have to maintain a certain level of respect.
We're all going to meet one another when more fully developed plans with concrete proposals about the traffic and the sewer and such have matured – assuming we all care enough to show up at the public hearings around September (as they are tentatively scheduled).
I don't want to get punched in the mouth because I said some crazy thing in comments section of a Patch article. I have to admit, some of my comments could be deemed inflammatory. I apologize for any offensive commentary. Going forward, I promise to keep it constructive. We can disagree, but let's not hope for one another to "fall off the face of the earth."
Whether Costco comes to town or not, I'm still going to want to look you in the eye and say hello. The veil of anonymity that the Internet can provide sometimes gets the best of us, but let's not let it. [Note: if you go to the Facebook page for Patch and check out the article I wrote, not a single person was in favor of Costco in the Facebook comments. Zero people that had to attach their reputation to their comment was in favor of the proposal.]
With all that said, I think we should take some queues from our town supervisor Grace. He rightly – in my mind – opened the "courtesy of the floor" section of town board meetings so that you were not confined to 3 minutes. He fully supports you speaking your mind, but asks you to remain respectful and to try and not repeat points made previously. If anyone told another person to "fall off the face of the earth," he wouldn't allow such behavior.
It's a lot to ask in an Internet environment, but going forward, if you are going to comment on the Costco/big-box issue, you should do so with your real name, or at least keep it civil and concise. We should try and emulate the town board meeting environment to remain accountable for our words, spoken or written. It's easy to hide behind pseudonyms like Hayden Macnair [Harry Potter villain] and it's easy to shout people down or resort to schoolyard antics. After all, we'll probably all meet in person at the planning board meeting in September.
I've used the term "troll" recently and want to make sure the community understands what I mean by it; it's a person that makes inflammatory and off-topic comments in an online community, basically. I'm not insulting anyone's looks or suggesting you live under a bridge if I call you troll.
Lastly, the big-box wholesaler site, be it Sam's Club or Costco or Super BJ's, is an area of great import to the future of Yorktown; I believe the Yorktown Comprehensive lays out a vision in-congruent with a big-box wholesaler. That's the center of the debate; it's not about Costco, per se.
The plans for the site are very rudimentary at this point. Case in point: the site plan doesn't even differentiate the asphalt from the planted and woodland areas (see before and after photos at the top of this post). They've laid out some broad strokes but many details have yet to come into focus, like where they will find the sewer capacity – Yorktown does not have it. That's one of the few facts we are certain of at this point.
In the meantime, I promise to make a formal request for the planning records under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and will share what information I can glean. I encourage you to do the same and compare notes.
It's more important to me that we're congenial neighbors than what ends up on the subject parcel. I can live with poor planning, but I can't live with crazy neighbors.
God bless us all.