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In December 2016, Westchester Disabled on the Move Inc., a Yonkers-based organization, filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Yorktown Town Hall is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act because of insufficient handicapped parking spaces and a lack of elevators.
To accommodate the creation of new handicapped spaces, the town plans to remove the war monuments, the flagpole and the cherry trees from in front of town hall. All three will eventually be relocated to a to-be-determined site, said Supervisor Michael Grace.
The town board, at its Aug. 8 work session, unanimously approved resolutions seeking bids for these three separate projects. The cost of the projects will be unknown until the bids are returned, but Grace said the town will pay for it.
Grace told Yorktown News that the town will create four new handicapped spaces in the area where the flagpole plaza used to be. Simply rebranding the existing spaces in the ring in front of town hall as handicapped spaces would not have worked, Grace said, because they are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, citing lack of space on either side of the vehicle.
Grace said the new handicapped spaces will be created by the town’s highway department.
In a related effort to spruce up the Underhill Avenue corridor, Grace said the town will relocate the historic Zino’s Barn to Railroad Park. The 200-year-old barn is presently located on the future Lowe’s site at 3200 Crompond Road.
John Tegeder, the town’s planning director, said the barn will be located in between the basketball court and the Yorktown Heights Railroad Station, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
“The barn has to find a legitimate and valid use in order to not fall into disrepair,” Tegeder said.
To that end, Tegeder is proposing a visitation center and a gender-neutral bathroom inside of the barn.
Both Tegeder and Grace said the addition of Zino’s Barn to the area continues the town’s effort to create a “historical corridor” from Railroad Park to Patriot Park along the North County Trailway. There are also plans to erect the proposed Pines Bridge Monument near the highway department and, Grace said, the war monuments from in front of town hall could also be relocated near the trail.
“It’s actually really cool,” Grace said.
Additionally, the town is planning to renovate the commuter lot adjacent to town hall with landscape islands, Grace said. This will also be paid for by the town.
“The stuff we require everyone else to do, we don’t do ourselves,” Grace said about the poor condition of the town-owned parking lot. “It’s about time we follow suit.”
He said Tegeder, who is designing the site plan for these projects, will likely present renderings in September.
Grace said he hopes the Zino’s Barn relocation and the town hall renovation will be completed by October.