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Yorktown Officials Reduce Parking Space Requirements for Businesses

The amended laws would reduce the parking space requirements in most commercial zones – from 5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of building to 4 spaces.

Yorktown town officials approved two new laws this week that would reduce the parking space requirements in most commercial zones – from 5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of building to 4 spaces.

"The new laws have proposed cut red tape, meaning people looking to start a business here in town, along with business owners looking to expand or renovate their facilities, will be able to make more efficient use of their space," Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said in a statement.

Officials amended the local laws §300-182.A.(4) and §300-89.A.(c) with a unanimous vote on Tuesday.

The legislation is designed to allow more flexibility in commercial site designs, reduce overall impervious surfaces and storm-water runoff, allow for more building and less parking thereby creating greater tax revenue for the same level of disturbed area and incentivize redevelopment of deteriorated commercial properties and the commercial tax base, Grace said. 

The new laws will also lower the requirement of 5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area to 4.25 spaces at the Jefferson Valley Mall, according to officials.

"This centerpiece of this legislative package will ease parking requirements in the regional shopping center district to facilitate the redevelopment of the Jefferson Valley Mall," Grace said. 

According to a December 2012 study conducted by Simon properties, the mall uses less than 50 percent of its spaces within its gross leasable area during peak hours.

The mall's expansion plans, which call for a possible addition of 50,000-60,000 square feet to what would then be an outward facing mall, would make more efficient use of the current parking space and help attract high-end commercial brands to the area, town officials said.

"This will also give prospective mall tenants better 'peace of mind' and speed along the process to usher in the most state of the art shopping center in the region," Grace said. 

Councilman Terrence Murphy said the town is committed to a partnership that will revitalize the Jefferson Valley Mall. 

"Passing these bills will better serve the mall's present and future needs as we enter the next phase of its redevelopment, which will bring needed commerce to our town and create hundreds of jobs for our local economy," he said. 

Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco said the laws would provide the potential for more available parking spaces throughout the town and give prospective business owners more flexibility

"By making our town zoning laws more user friendly, we become a more desirable place for businesses to open," Murphy said.

Based on a comment during the public hearing on Tuesday made by Yorktown resident Paul Moskowitz, who was concerned that the proposed Costco Wholesale Club would benefit from the parking space requirements, town board officials agreed to exempt Costco from the law. 

"The law has nothing to do with Costco," Grace said. 

The laws will now be forwarded to the Secretary of the State's office for approval.

What do you think of the amended laws? How could that help businesses in town? What about prospective businesses?

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Paul Moskowitz January 11, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Gladys, Your comment is quite correct. The effect of the new law is to allow narrower spaces. Today, there are many spaces that are too narrow. I measured parking space widths around town. Where the spaces are less than 8 ft wide, there is difficulty: cars are parked overlapping adjoining spaces so that some spaces go unused, car doors cannot be opened or smash into cars in the next space. The new law calls for 8 ft wide spaces for commercial zones, but allows for 7.5 ft wide spaces for "compact cars" for 20 percent of the spaces. I brought photos to the hearing on the law showing how the narrow spaces are not sufficient. 8 ft is on the verge of useability. 7.5 ft is asking for trouble. The board passed the law with the 7.5 and 8 ft spaces unchanged. Also, on the subject of Costco, the article does not tell the complete story. The proposal for the development of the Costco site is now in process before the Planning Board. It would be improper for the Town Board to take an action on the Costco site plan while the Planning Board is still doing their review. Action by the Town Board on a part of the project could constitute "illegal segmentation" according to NY State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) requirements. More on this can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/45577.html -Paul
bertie January 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM
What the Town Board (and some merchants) are overlooking is that if I'm not comfortable parking in newly-narrowed spaces, I'm simply going to shop someplace else. Like other malls in other towns. Or other states.

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