Suit Claims United Parcel Service and Property Owners Made Misrepresentations; City Officials Failed to Perform Their Duty In Notifying, Protecting Yonkers Homeowners; Law Requires Environmental Impact Statement and Zone Variance Request
Local homeowners in Yonkers have filed a major lawsuit to seeking to overturn three recent decisions by the City’s Planning Board regarding construction at 555 Tuckahoe Rd. Yonkers. The suit claims that the owners, a subsidiary of Weissman Real Estate LLC, made improper statements regarding their site plan application and numerous misstatements and misrepresentations in official documents; and that actions taken by United Parcel Service (UPS) and city officials prior to the granting of site plan approval by were arbitrary, capricious and unlawful.
The suit was filed Wednesday on behalf of a consortium of neighbors, neighborhood groups and civic associations by Keane & Bean, Senior Counsel Joel Sachs, White Plains. The lawsuit documents the efforts to thwart environmental impact laws and civic involvement, and accelerate construction despite significant neighborhood opposition. The effort follows several months of petitions and declarations by neighbors trying to make their case.
“UPS plans to have upward of 250 package trucks, numerous 18 wheelers, and 400 workers operating 24/7. There needs to be consideration for the East Grassy Sprain Road access and limiting hours of operation are demanded in order to maintain a good neighbor relationship between UPS and the community to mitigate the impact of the facility,” said Clare Gallagher, a neighbor.
The suit includes more comprehensive traffic and sound studies commissioned by neighbors showing that sound and air pollution will have a much greater impact than initially presented. The number of trucks entering and exiting and the number of employee parking slots, for example, has grown and at many times been in conflict with previous statements by the respondents.
Petitioners include The Gassy Sprain Civic Association, Sprain Lake Knolls Civic Association and Winchester Homeowners Association, representing several hundred households in close proximity to the the site. The website StopUPS.org has made available much of the research and includes additional information and links to news items.
Among the actions requested by the suit are to require a environmental impact statement (“EIS”) due to the significant environmental impacts; that there is no reason to allow a truck refueling depot as “integral” to the needs of a distribution center to force UPS to request a use variance from the City Zoning Board of Appeals since the proposed truck refueling depot would be located directly in the midst of a residential neighborhood.