LETTER TO THE EDITOR
RECORD SHOWS A LONG HISTORY OF MANY VOICES OPPOSING CURRENT GARVIES POINT PROPOSAL
Received from Roger Friedman, Sea Cliff
January 23, 2016
I am writing in response to the letter to the Editor in a recent issue of the Record Pilot entitled, “If Nothing Else They’re Consistent”.
The writer opines that the voices in opposition to the current Waterfront plan and the Villa are just a rag-tag group of naysayers that oppose change of any kind, and “rail against everything regardless of its merits”. He believes that they don’t want the Piazza to succeed and that they are defeatists who have filed bogus lawsuits that seek only to delay, not stop the projects.
This letter misses the mark…and not by a little. The fact of the matter is that there have been many voices opposed to the CURRENT plan put forward by the developer of the Waterfront since it changed from the original concept to an overly dense, all residential project sometime back in 2007.
Rather than give you my own comments I would like to share just a few quotes from the public record as they pertain specifically to the Waterfront.
Here is one from a member of the City’s own Master Plan Task Force from way back in 2009:
“…there is much included that I and my fellow members do not recognize. For example, we were never allowed to discuss the waterfront until very late in the process and then, only briefly. Most or all of us didn't want to see the project go forward with anything near the proposed number of units or building heights, even at the reduced 10-12 stories. We were constantly reminded that there was a contract for the waterfront, and thus we were never allowed to state our desire to lower the size and density of the project… Not only were some of our concerns ignored or omitted, the draft master plan seems to bolster the RXR Glen Isle contract and other high-density projects currently in the proposal phase. I am outraged that not only will a contract which was born under cover of darkness be allowed to stand, but will also be the foundation of a master plan for the future of our city and waterfront.”
These comments are quite ominous to consider. If one looks at New York State’s published documentation regarding Master and Comprehensive Plans, the whole point is to consider the community, the impact upon it and to develop a plan appropriate for the community. Going to the trouble of setting up a task force, and then ignoring that task force, flies in the face of public policy. Additionally, this person didn’t just say “they didn’t consider my comments”, they said that they misrepresented what they were doing, and that they negotiated this contract under cover of darkness!!
Here’s another comment from the public record:
“But the heart of the matter here is that the draft Master Plan states that its "emphasis is on general design and programmatic principles and policy-as is arguably the case for all Master Plans. It seems, however, that the Master Plan goes beyond acknowledging the contractual obligations that exist currently and is being contorted to match the waterfront project instead of providing a long-term view of what is best for the city.” Carol DiPaolo, The Coalition To Save Hempstead Harbor
And yet another “voice” in opposition: “Full residential use of the waterfront would not achieve many of the goals of the Master Plan. Further, broader residential development in the area, beyond that proposed in the Master Plan, may result in a net increase in the City density in excess of the current baseline, which could result in significant adverse impacts to traffic, community services and utilities.”
Can you guess who said that? It was the Glen Cove City Council’s response to the request for full residential development on the Waterfront!! Can we now add the City Council to the rag-tag list of Naysayers?
“Over the past decade he has witnessed the unprecedented approval and construction of one high density development after another by outside developers who are given sweetheart deals for projects that are destroying the quality of life in Glen Cove. The City is now on the verge of turning over 50 acres of its waterfront on Glen Cove Creek to yet another private outside developer to permit the construction of over 1,100 units (250 hotel units and 860 residential units) in several 16 story high sky scraper buildings. While Reggie understands that the waterfront area is in dire need of revitalization, he is committed to putting an end to this ill conceived over intensified development and others like it that have and will continue to be built unless something is done to stop them.”
This is a direct quote from Friends of Reginald Spinello from 2007. It was his campaign’s representation of his view of the Waterfront plan. Let’s now add Reggie to the list of naysayers as well.
The writer further claims that this Waterfront plan is Reginald Spinello’s bold vision when it is actually the vision of RXR, a 7-billion dollar developer that seems to care nothing for Glen Cove, but only for further lining its own pockets. (This same developer has given almost $200,000, to Governor Cuomo, $45,000+ to Chuck Schumer and $5000.00 (The Maximum allowed) to Mayor Spinello).
Contrary to what he states, the voices of opposition are not opposed to all development, just over-development. These voices have included past and current residents of Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and the surrounding communities, and as evidenced above, even the current Mayor and the City Council.
These voices of reason have been consistently ignored. The lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100 residents against the Waterfront project is not bogus by any measure. It seeks to reset the clock on this ill conceived plan and win a long denied seat at the table for the people of Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and the surrounding communities.
Finally the writer incorrectly attributes a quote by George Patton (lead, follow, or get out of the way) to Ted Turner.
General Patton also wisely said "If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." Maybe it’s time to heed what reasonable people have been saying about this project all along… Common sense is that it is just too big, too dense and will cause permanent harm for our area.
Committee For A Sustainable Waterfront