If you have a Facebook account you can watch the entire July 23 interview with Sixth District Councilman Anthony Merante and Nick Plakas of StopUPS. If not, you can watch the interview below.
Council Member Merante and Community UPS Car Rally — Round 1 Saturday, July 18, 2020.
The car rally will start (in order to not disrupt our neighborhood for an extended period, arrive between 10-10:15am. Kick-off at 10:15 sharp) on Mountaindale Road half way between Tuckahoe Road and Bonnie Briar Road. The line-up will go back to Bonnie Briar Road and down to Gailmor Drive straight through and connect back to the other end of Mountaindale Road. Therefore, to avoid making a U turn, arrive from Mountaindale and Gailmor Drive and head to Bonnie Briar. Put your hazard lights so arrivals know they are in the correct location.
The procession will make all right turns. Tuckahoe Road to East Grassy Sprain Road to Hickory Lane to Gailmor Drive then head left up Bonnie Briar Road and right again onto Mountaindale Road. We will circle around a second time and leave. Where masks even if you are alone in your car but especially if you are not.
The purpose of the Rally is to let UPS and the Yonkers Planning Board know that we are here even though virtual meetings do not show our faces. UPS is welcome in Yonkers but under our conditions.
What do we want: NO FUEL TANKS, LESS DELIVERY TRUCKS AND TRACTOR TRAILERS, NO SECOND PARKING LOT, NO ADDITION EXITS ON EAST GRASSY SPRAIN ROAD, CONTROLLED DEPLOYMENT, NO 24-HOUR OPERATION and an ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY.
I am the Council Member for the property located at 555 Tuckahoe Road. The new tenants, UPS, and the landlord, Alfred Weisman Real Estate, have a case pending before the Planning Board. I continue to request that Planning Board not move this item forward until the applicant has satisfied the concerns of the community. The most notable request is having an Environmental Impact Study. I must also reiterate that when I first met with UPS in the fall of 2019, I made two requests. One was that we must listen to the community and second that the footprint must not change. Considering that they are asking your body to approve three new exterior exits and an additional parking lot, I would consider that a footprint change and your approval must be withheld until many conditions are instituted. Additionally, no additional opening should be allowed on East Grassy Sprain Road. Entrance and exit on this road should be the bear minimum and only the exiting gate utilized.
Understand that I would like to have a successful project with UPS. However, I continue to be against the continued construction prior to site plan approval. It is inappropriate and disrespectful to the community. UPS is preparing the facility to maximum capacity. It is the Planning Board’s responsibility to limit the use in this residential area.
Let me explain. I have visited the four locations (Bronx, Pelham, Elmsford and Yorktown) from which UPS plans to TRANSFER capacity to Yonkers. I made these visits with Nick Plakas a member of the community challenging the development. I have sent a separate email with some pictures of each facility. I will send more. My concern is the condition of each campus. They have vehicles all around the outside boarder of the facilities and on the surrounding streets (Bronx) including disabled vehicles. This cannot be allowed. Period.
Their facilities are located in industrial areas not surrounded on three sides with residential homes. They do not have 24-hour operating concerns. I, however, am concerned. Noise from the arrival of employees and trailers between 1-6am must be mitigated at whatever cost. This condition must be included. I believe that the front parking lot should be utilized by the packing crew until 9:30am when the delivery trucks are deployed and the administrative crew arrives. The approved back lot can then be used for the arrival of the delivery drivers. A third lot would therefore not be necessary.
I am grateful that the applicant, UPS, and the owner, Alfred Weisman Real Estate, have agreed not to put a parking lot behind The Hampton Inn. I want to thank UPS and Doug Collins for meeting with John Larkin and myself on Monday, July 6,2020.
Doug had a mock wall made by having two backhoes hold a rope with hanging tarps. However, the addition of a second parking lot on the north side is very disturbing. The total additional distance from the existing building to the end of the pending second parking lot will be approximately 200 feet. With the addition of the sound barrier wall that will bring the distance of the sound barrier to the neighbors property lines to as little as 30-40 feet to about 100 feet. Quite different from what they have enjoyed the last 50-60 years.
The other UPS facilities are about half the size of 555 Tuckahoe Road. While observing the locations, at approximately 9:15-9:30 am, the delivery trucks begin their deployment in convoy fashion. Therefore in 15-20 minutes about 100 trucks exited the facility. Yonkers capacity must both be limited in the number of vehicles housed on Tuckahoe Road and specific staggered deployment times must be one of the conditions. UPS has set forth their goal of a maximum of up to 204 vehicles over the next 4-5 years. This is to many for this area.
I am additionally grateful that the applicant has agreed to put the fuel tanks underground. However, why do the Bronx and Elmsford have 2 gas pumps and Yorktown has 3. I did not observe any pumps at Pelham. Why should Yonkers have 6? Capacity and fuel pumps should be reduced accordingly. Usage of any fuel pumps should be regulated by conditions.
Please note above that I highlighted the word transfer. I did so because one of the attractions of UPS was that they said they would bring 200 jobs. I do not believe this is correct. The jobs are transfers of overcapacity at the four other locations. We need clarity. Additionally, clarity should be given as to the current construction jobs. I do not believe they are local workers.
Finally, as I continue to research this development, and continue to look at additional mandated conditions, I ask that you contemplate consequences to violations of the conditions. My recommendation is that violations of conditions terminate the site approval and require the immediate shutdown of the facility with a penalty of 5100,000 per day for continuing. Whatever you choose, it must have a financial impact for it to be successful.
Therefore, Chairman Kozicky and members of the planning board, I, Anthony J. Merante, Council Member of Yonkers Sixth District, the district for which the UPS project exists, continue to respectfully request that no decision be reached, until the applicant can reach full agreement with the community.
I thank you in advance for the consideration with this concerning matter.
Anthony J. Merante
Council Member, District 6
cc: Mayor Mike Spano
Planning Board Members: Landi, Baker, Johnson, Larkin, Forsberg
Lee Ellman, Vincent Pici, Joel H. Sachs, Janet Giris
We have converted this into text from the letter posted on the City of Yonkers website.
The UPS business model is based on on-site refueling depots at their distribution centers. So, without a site plan approval for on-site refueling, why is UPS spending millions of dollars at the 555 Tuckahoe Rd. site before the Yonkers Planning Board has issued a site plan approval?
There is a recent Yonkers video that states that the 555 Tuckahoe Rd. site will be the largest UPS distribution center in Westchester and Bronx.
Yet, UPS does not feel an Environmental Impact Statement is needed to review impacts of the facility on the surrounding residential communities. The Yonkers Planning Board seems to agree with UPS that there are no significant impacts.
Although a refueling deport is not a listed permitted use in the city code, the Zoning Board is allowing that use at 555 Tuckahoe Rd. site.
The city is allowing the site owner and UPS to break up (segment) the project into pieces, to minimize appearance of impacts, in violation of state environmental law.
No significant environmental impacts, yes to Refueling depot, allowing segmented reviews; are we to believe the Yonkers Planning Board will not approve the site plan and issue a Negative Declaration? Are we to believe that the fix is not in?
It appears that the Yonkers Planning Board, appointed by the Mayor, is now under too much political pressure to do anything but approve the site plan and to issue a Negative Declaration, thereby avoiding the requirement to have UPS prepare Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with state law.
Residents, we need to push back! join the push, fund the push!
The attached alert has been distributed throughout the neighborhood and includes all you need to know to write an effective letter to your elected representatives.
Without final approval for a site plan, concrete has been poured on the north side of the building, ripped up the grass in the field behind the building and putting down gravel. We have asked the city’s planning board to explain to the neighbors how this work could be carried on without a final approval of a site plan.
A neighbor found her home a few days ago was filled with fumes from the exhaust of machinery working on the site. The development that is proposed—or rather shoved down neighbors’ throats despite objections—will have numerous negative environmental impacts and serious health consequences for residents. If the city has already decided not to require an environmental impact statement (EIS) they should be required to explain why neighbors’ health and well being is of no concern to them.
Facility would impact property values, create health issues and traffic problems
June 5, 2020—In October of 2019 Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced that UPS would be building a logistics center at 555 Tuckahoe Rd. A former “light manufacturing” facility, it had most recently been the site of a small-scale Saks distribution center and POP Displays.
As these plans were slowly unveiled, it became clear that United Parcel Service is proposing a massive 24/7 truck terminal, refueling facility and distribution center in the middle of a residential neighborhood in northeast Yonkers. The proposed site is surrounded on three sides by approximately 2000 households. The proposal has been met with overwhelming resistance by the surrounding neighborhood, yet a petition with hundreds of signatures has not been acknowledged by the Planning Board.
The UPS proposal at 555 Tuckahoe Rd. requires site plan approval by the City of Yonkers Planning Board, an appointed body which does not allow for a public hearing on the UPS site plan application. Despite the Planning Board not yet granting their approval, construction at the site has been moving ahead at a feverish pace.
Neighbors find there is an incompatibility with their neighborhood on many fronts that will lower property values, impact health and create impossible traffic. They created StopUPS.org to address their concerns, which include:
- UPS vehicles from the NY Metro area utilizing the site daily as a refueling facility for both gas and diesel UPS trucks, dispensing fuel from multiple massive 12,000-gallon storage tanks;
- Massive air pollution from vehicles, diesel and petroleum fuel odors, truck noise 24/7 and intrusive lighting throughout the night and the overall industrialization of a residential neighborhood;
- Hundreds of UPS vehicles utilizing the site 24/7 causing a traffic nightmare and safety issues on local roads;
- Destruction of remaining green space on the property adjacent to residential houses which the property owner promised the City would never be destroyed.
A comparison to other nearby UPS locations with similar capabilities reveal that UPS nor any other logistics carrier have heavy industrial located in a residential neighborhood. In the NY Metro area in particular, UPS and similar carriers are located in industrial parks zoned for such activity. The zoning for the proposed center does not even allow for most of the activity proposed for the location.
“It’s not as if the neighbors are opposed to progress,” said Joel Sachs of Keane & Beane, PC, an attorney hired by neighbors. “Just a half-mile away is a FedEx with a massive operation in an Industrial Zone next to I-87, and it doesn’t have any refueling.”
“What does David P. Abney know that we don’t know?” asks Clare Gallagher, a neighbor, referring to the CEO of UPS. “Why did the work begin months before the proper site approval worked its way through the planning board?”
Neighbors have united by writing Planning Board members and expressing their opposition, but it continues to fall on deaf ears. Opponents of the site urge those who don’t want to see their property values decline, their health suffer or the sanctity of their neighborhood be ruined, to visit www.stopups.org, which includes points to include in letters to elected officials.
This letter was sent to Mayor Mike Spano in preparation for a meeting with community members on May 7, 2020. Lowell is a professional engineer and he addresses some of the many technical issues, including zoning.
According to the presentation (link), they actually hope to eliminate jobs by establishing a facility at 555 Tuckahoe Rd. Specifically, they hope to eliminate 15 drivers (see page 5). They also hope to reduce refueling stops because they plan to put large gas tanks on the property (most likely in violation of the property’s zoning as “CM,” i.e. commercial, storage and light manufacturing).
It appears they will remove almost all the green space that remains and add hundreds of parking spaces (see page 8). At a meeting of the Yonkers Planning Commission on July 9, 2014, the facility’s property owners (who still own the property) confirmed their commitment, as a condition to build the Hampton Inn, that they will never develop the remaining green space. The plans also call for a middle turn lane added on Tuckahoe Road. This will especially have an impact on Grassy Sprain Village.
Now is the time to register any opposition! Click on “Write a Letter” above for ideas. Personalize your letter or email, explaining how it will impact your immediate neighborhood.
Only a groundswell of letters and calls will put a stop to this development.