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?