The creation of sewer lines, which the developer of the proposed Costco site along Route 202 has brought up, is in the hands of county legislators after Yorktown board members recently reviewed a request asking for their support.
Yorktown supervisor Susan Siegel said the application review was referred out to the county. County legislators would have to decide if the Peekskill Sewer District Plant, owned by the county, would have the capacity to take on the additional sewage.
The developer of Costco, with the support of about 10 homeowners in the area of Old Crompond Road who have started a petition, is proposing to create a sewer district. The developer would pay for the installation of lines and the connections to the homeowners.
The Costco building lines would be within the former motel on Rt. 202, official said. There is a proposal for 610 parking spaces and there would be two entrances. The motel site and another piece of property across the street (which had been planned for a temple but was never built) had been on a septic system and a few years ago an application was submitted for them to be included in a local sewer district.
Al Capellini, the attorney for the developer, said Hunterbrook Sewage District 17 was approved by the Yorktown town board a few years ago and it includes the former motel site and the property across the street, but sewer lines were never created. The town board can then petition the county to include the local sewer district in the county's sewer district plant.
"Without the sewer infrastructure there is no Costco or anything else to be developed," he said.
However, residents who are opposed to the Costco project cite traffic congestion and unfair competition to small business owners in the area.
"There are many other communities in Yorktown that have been waiting as much as 30 or 40 years for sewers, is it right to streamline these homes just because they are adjacent to this building project?" said Yorktown resident Jennie Sunshine, who is also a member of a new organization called Yorktown Smart Growth, geared toward monitoring developments in the town.
She said she questions if the county's sewer district would have the capacity to take on the additional sewage from Costco and the homeowners. Siegel said there is capacity in the plant, but the county has to be certain.
"If Costco is built in this community, while these homes would now have sewer service, they would be 'paying' for this service in other ways - hearing delivery truck noise throughout the evening, having to endure bright stadium lights well into the night, their main artery (route 202) choked with trucks and an extra 1000 or so cars per hour, and their property values will inevitably decrease," Sunshine said.
The Costco project is still being reviewed before the Yorktown planning board, whose members are looking at the environmental studies and the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) the developer has submitted.
Siegel said the county would review the sewer issue while town planning board members are reviewing the DEIS. Instead of waiting for the planning board to finish their review, which could take six or seven months, they will be "dual tracking. This process would help speed up the process, which is in Costco's interest.
"I don't get the sense the planning board won't approve it," Siegel said referring to the DEIS. "It's in the right zone."
Yorktown Chamber of Commerce president Joe Visconti said he believes Costco "makes perfect sense" for Yorktown because of the proposed road condition improvements, creation of 140 permanent jobs and hundreds of new construction jobs, as well as the creation and connection to the sewer district. In addition he said the project would generate $750,000 of new tax revenue and give back to the community 1 percent of the gross sales.
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The nearly 19-acre parcel site that once housed a hotel and nursery lies about 40 feet below the Taconic State Parkway overpass on Route 202 in Yorktown.