Residents of Yonkers have expressed their concerns over a proposed high-density Westhab project on South Broadway. The plans for the development outline a 220-unit project with significantly fewer parking spaces than required by the City of Yonkers Zoning Code. Nearby, the Zoning Board of Appeals recently granted a variance to another project at 632 S. Broadway, allowing them to provide 100 parking spaces below the required amount. These decisions have left many residents outraged.
While the community has been supportive of low-density projects like Westhab, which provides affordable housing. However, the high-density nature of this development does not align with the neighborhood’s character.
One of the major issues with the proposed project is its lack of setbacks and green space for residents. The building plans show construction right up to the sidewalk, disregarding the importance of open spaces for the community. This raises particular concerns in district 2, the most densely populated section of Yonkers, where residents already face challenges due to the limited space.
Transportation to neighboring areas like the Bronx or Getty Square is relatively adequate. However, traveling from the proposed development site to the East side Cross County Shopping areas or Ridge Hill could take hours on public transportation. This may result in residents choosing to do their shopping in the Bronx, where both shopping and transportation are more easily accessible.
Moreover, community members feel that the developer and the city presented the project in a way that minimized neighborhood input. We were only made aware of the project through local businesses, as the project description failed to provide comprehensive information. This lack of transparency has left residents feeling marginalized. We believe the planning and zoning decisions are skewed in favor of developers, rather than prioritizing the interests of the citizens of Yonkers.
Adding to the concerns is the fact that the 600 South Broadway Project is eligible for a 40-year tax abatement. This only benefits the developer at the expense of the middle class and working poor taxpayers. As a result, when the project eventually requires significant rehabilitation, the burden will fall on those least able to bear it.
From the inadequate parking to the lack of setbacks and green spaces, the development fails to meet the needs and expectations of the community. Additionally, the potential strain on local businesses and the questionable allocation of tax benefits have only fueled the discontent. It is crucial that community voices are heard, and the concerns addressed before moving forward with the project.