DELAY DECISION ON GARVIES POINT DEVELOPMENT UNTIL PROPER STEPS TAKEN
Received from Sea Cliff Village Mayor Bruce Kennedy
October 1, 2015
To the Editor:
The proposed Glen Cove waterfront redevelopment, because of its tremendous density, is not just a Glen Cove issue – it is a regional issue. Former Mayor Tom Suozzi envisioned and proposed a true mixed use development for Garvies Point, consisting of shops, restaurants, office buildings, entertainment, and no more than 500 residential units. A planned hotel and conference center would draw visitors to Glen Cove, many via the proposed ferry. However, now the developer seeks to eliminate a substantial portion of the mixed use and dramatically increase the residential component to 1,110 units.
In 2000, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove were entangled in litigation over proposed plans to re-develop the Garvies Point waterfront. As part of a settlement, a memorandum of understanding was signed by then Mayors Tom Suozzi and Claudia Moyne. This agreement was signed to address the potential adverse impacts the overall development would have on all the North Shore communities. Among other things, this agreement stated that overall development (including the ferry terminal) would not exceed 700,000 square feet, that the proposed hotel/convention center would not exceed 250 rooms nor exceed the then current zoning height of 45 feet, and created safe-harbor hours when the ferry could not run. Most importantly, the agreement in recognizing the significant environmental impact this project would have on the regional communities called for the establishment of the Glen Cove Creek Redevelopment Commission. The objective of this six member Commission (chaired by the Mayors of Glen Cove and Sea Cliff) was to reach consensus and to render advice to the Glen Cove IDA regarding the scope of the environmental impact studies as it relates to the development of the waterfront. The parties are to share and respond to ideas and input regarding specific aspects of the development in order to promote harmonious resolutions of any concerns that may arise.
I respectfully insist that Glen Cove and it’s respective Boards not take further action until the Commission has had a chance to meet as it is not too late to correct the procedural misstep of ignoring the Commission.
The developer of the proposed project, RXR, has requested to modify their proposal in such a manner that could have dire consequences on the entire North Shore. They have requested the elimination of the hotel/convention center and the creation of a 1,110 unit residential skyscraper right at the mouth of Hempstead Harbor. The amended plan calls for a monstrous 125 foot tall 635,000 square foot building on our waterfront. This building is 30% larger in mass than the previous ghastly proposal. This proposed structure is larger than either of the RXR towers in Uniondale. Development of this nature is not conducive to the bucolic character of the North Shore.
All residents of the North Shore should insist that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement which can properly address the impact of the modification be mandatory. The effects of this substantial revision to the original plan is sure to have devastating effects on traffic in the area, the aesthetic beauty of the Harbor, water quality, sewage treatment capacity, damage to the newly recovering ecosystem, strain on the school system, burden on local water supply, and overburdening the fire and police services.
It would cost nothing for the City to insist upon the submission of a SEIS from the developer but it could cost us all dearly if they don’t. I urge all residents of the North Shore to write the Glen Cove Planning Board insisting that they require a SEIS prior to any vote on the proposal.
Bruce Kennedy, Mayor
Inc. Village of Sea Cliff
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