What is YCSD?
The goal of Yonkers Committee for Smart Development is imaginative, enlightened development planning that respects the spirit and integrity of both the past and future of Yonkers. The YCSD team coalesced in the summer of 2007 when a group of residents from around the city met to discuss their apprehensions about the quickening pace of the city’s downtown and waterfront redevelopment plans and the lack of community participation in those plans.
Yonkers: Gateway to the Hudson Valley
YCSD views Yonkers as the Gateway to the Hudson Valley. Consider the economic and environmental consequences a wall of high rises lining the Hudson River shores from here to Albany could have on the region and the health of the Hudson River. Developers will follow the Yonkers lead as they negotiate with other municipalities for properties along the bucolic Hudson River banks.
What is Smart Development?
Smart Development balances civic economic gain with respect for the natural environment, social history and varied cultures of a city. YCSD believes truly successful development benefits as many people as possible within a diverse community; that a higher quality of life for all must emphasize maximum public access to functional, beautiful, natural open spaces; that green construction is vital for the future of the environment and public health; that adaptive reuse of existing buildings is a necessary component for historic preservation and a sensible allocation of building resources; and that civic engagement in community planning is a necessary path to a vibrant municipal future.
What are our choices?
There are enlightened ways to revitalize a tired downtown and waterfront. Yonkers can become a lively city that celebrates its vibrant history and spectacular River views. It can restore its central urban core of vintage buildings, design city squares and parks, and create an architectural design for a waterfront that enhances the city’s cultural and historic past. Yonkers can become a tourist destination in its own right!
Imagine turning Yonkers into a South Street Seaport; a Baltimore; a Portland, Maine; a Portland, Oregon; or a Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Then imagine a city of giant indoor malls with big box stores and a tall wall of expensive apartment buildings along the waterfront with views only for those residents.
Imagine - in which Yonkers do you want to work and live?
What makes a great place?
According to the organization Project for Public Spaces*:
Sociability, uses and activities,
Access and linkages,
Comfort and image
The benefits are that it:
Builds and supports the local economy and draws a diverse population, fostering frequent and meaningful contact
Nurtures and defines community identity while promoting a sense of comfort,/li>
Creates improved accessibility
What does YCSD do?
YCSD organized Yonkers: Gateway to the Hudson Valley, a 2008 environmental symposium which was attended by municipal leaders, politicians and environmentalists from throughout the region. In 2011, the YCSD Team ran a 5 part public seminar series, free of charge, entitled the "Demystifying Series' that focused on the "how-tos" of many public activities, including landmarking, reading a SEQRA EIS, using the NYS Open Meeting Laws, and the like.
In its community leadership role, YCSD has read and commented on the SFC and Alexander Street development projects throughout the New York State SEQRA environmental review process. YCSD continues to articulate coherent positions on these urban redevelopment plans.
YCSD team members attend Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Landmarks Preservation Board and City Council meetings and speak at public hearings about major development, historic preservation and environmental matters under review by these Boards and the City Council.
YCSD is a volunteer organization of private citizens advocating for smart economic development in Yonkers that balances civic economic gain with respect for the natural environment, social history and varied cultures of the city. YCSD believes that truly successful development must benefit as many people as possible within a diverse community; that a higher quality of life for all must emphasize maximum public access to functional, beautiful, natural open spaces; and that civic engagement in community planning is a vital part to a successful municipal future.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Terry Joshi, President
Steve Wagner, Vice President
Jane Barker, Secretary
Christopher Canty, Treasurer
Mike Hertz, Robert Hothan, Nancy Maron, Deirdre Hoare Rylander, MJ Territo
Taylor James Pierce
And representation from:
Hudson River Community Association
Yonkers Land Conservancy
River Communities Coalition of Yonkers