JUDGE REJECTS LEGAL CHALLENGES TO GARVIES POINT RE-DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
August 22, 2016 -- In a major setback to opponents of the Garvies Point waterfront redevelopment project, on August 17, a Nassau County judge dismissed two lawsuits, one brought by the Village of Sea Cliff and a second by a group of residents from Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and surrounding areas, that sought to block the City of Glen Cove and the developer RXR from moving forward on the proposed mixed use project on the western shore of Glen Cove Creek that includes 1100 residential units and a building with two 11 story towers.
The suits alleged breach of contract by the City for its failure to abide by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it had agreed to with the Village 15 years ago that established procedures by which the Village would have a seat at the table in advising the City’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) on Glen Cove Creek development proposals, and that imposed limits on the size of the redevelopment.
The Petitioners also argued, among other things, that the City of Glen Cove failed to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act by neglecting to take a “hard look at” the impact of the amended proposal’s “view corridors and scenic vistas”; “additional window and light exposure”; “additional noise exposure”; “the impact of the 2000 agreement”; and “the cumulative impacts and changes occurring after the 2011 State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) analysis.”
In a written opinion issued on Wednesday, Justice Antonio Brandveen rejected those arguments finding that "the determination of the Planning Board of the City of Glen Cove satisfied the requirements under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, and adequately analyzed a reasonable range of options."
“The determination of the Planning Board," he continued, "had a rational basis and was not arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law.”
As for the Memorandum of Understanding, the Justice found that the “signatories were not legally authorized to bind the municipalities;” that a municipal body is “prohibited from contractually binding its successors on matters of governance;” and that the MOU lacks the essential elements of a contract.”
Additionally, he said that the village had not invoked the MOU when the City of Glen Cove had not been in compliance with the agreement during the prior multiple proceedings of the Planning Board and various City agencies.
“I strongly disagree with the decision of Judge Brandveen,” said Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy to Northwordnews. “It appears that he did not even consider the voluminous amount of evidence presented.”
Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, in a press release, said that the ruling “validated the fact that these lawsuits had no merit and that the City and its agencies were in complete compliance with the necessary procedures and protocols,”
“Unfortunately, the price of fighting these types of nonsense lawsuits falls upon our tax payers and I am happy to put these cases behind us as we continue to make important strides to reclaiming Glen Cove’s waterfront for its economic, housing and recreational benefits,” he continued.
Michael Zarin, Special Counsel for Waterfront Development for the City of Glen Cove added, “Sea Cliff and the Coalition’s claims were rejected outright by the court and now is the time for taxpayers to put their hard earned dollars to better use.”
Mayor Kennedy said that he would discuss with the Board of Trustees what their next step might be “which may include appealing this case.”
“All this, and the actions that may follow could be avoided if Spinello would just engage in a healthy discussion," he explained. "He has a copy of the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding that resulted from a lawsuit on the proposed development at Garvies Point 16 years ago. "It is a document that records the meeting of the minds of our predecessors and should justly be upheld.”
“All that I am looking to accomplish is to preserve the quality of life that the people of Sea Cliff have worked so hard to maintain,” the Sea Cliff Mayor said.
BACK TO WEEKLY
SCHOOL DISTRICT AND COUNTY LEGISLATURE MULL TAKING SMALLER SHARE OF GARVIES POINT TAX REVENUE (August 7)
LOCAL GROUP SEEKS TO RAISE $250,000 FOR LEGAL EFFORTS TO BLOCK ELEVEN STORY GARVIES POINT REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
SEA CLIFF VILLAGE SUES CITY OF GLEN COVE IN EFFORT TO BLOCK GARVIES POINT REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT (Nov. 11, 2015)
GC PLANNING BOARD APPROVES DEVELOPER'S AMENDED GARVIES POINT PROPOSAL AS RESIDENTS PROTEST DECISION (October 8, 2015)
SC MAYOR EXPRESSES CONCERNS OVER GARVIES POINT PROJECT AT GC PLANNING BOARD MEETING (September 18, 2015)