May 16, 2016 -- Chanting “No Density No Traffic,” “Tell Spinello ‘No,’” and “Don’t Wreck it Rechler,” about 200 residents from Sea Cliff, Glen Head, Glen Cove, and other surrounding communities gathered at Memorial Park in Sea Cliff and marched down Prospect Avenue and Cliff Way to Sea Cliff Beach where they formed a human chain to protest the City of Glen Cove’s approval of a 1.8 million square foot development on the western shore of Glen Cove Creek. The mixed use project with1100 residential units, which is being built by Long Island real estate developer Scott Rechler of RXR Realty, includes two eleven-story high rises adjacent to the Hempstead Harbor Yacht Club and across from Sea Cliff Beach.
“We are all here because we oppose this type of development - we want smart development.” declared Sea Cliff resident Amy Marion, one of the event organizers and a founding member of Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront, addressing the crowd at Memorial park.
Ms. Marion, who on behalf the Committee and scores of residents is spearheading a lawsuit against the City of Glen Cove and Nassau County to stop the project, focused her comments on the environmental impact of the development.
“We don’t want contaminants running into our water.” she shouted, and announced that the Town of Oyster Bay would be releasing comments later this week asserting that the storm water run off analysis of the 2011 environmental impact study “was completely wrong” and “inappropriate for a development of this size.”
The quality of life for area residents, Ms. Marion continued, would be further harmed during construction with as many as 25 trucks a day passing through local streets for the next 10 years.
Concluding her remarks, she reminded the demonstrators of the upcoming elections this June and November. “Tom Suozzi [former Mayor of Glen Cove running for Democratic nomination for 3rd Congressional District seat] is asking for your vote. Ask Tom Suozzi what his position is on this waterfront project before you give him your vote,” she said. “Ask Chuck Lavine (13 A.D.; Dem - Glen Cove) what his position is before you give him your vote.”
Then, confining themselves to the sidewalk, the demonstrators, many wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the “no symbol" striking out the image of two tall buildings and even more holding signs with alliterative and rhyming slogans, snaked their way down Prospect Avenue and Cliff Way to the waterfront where they gathered on Sea Cliff Beach, only a few hundred yards across from where the development will be built.
There, Sea Cliff resident Roger Friedman, President of the Committee for a Sustainable Waterfront, addressed the crowd. “This is not smart development,” he said, “It’s over-development. This will not revitalize the waterfront - it will destroy the waterfront. Along with the high density, we will have high traffic, high pollution, and huge impacts to infrastructure.”
Mr. Friedman characterized the project, for which the City of Glen Cove will borrow tens of millions of dollars for roadway and other improvements linked to the development, as “a huge financial gamble.”
Construction over the ten years, he continued, will render the Hempstead Harbor Club, Sea Cliff Yacht Club and Sea Cliff Beach virtually unusable.
Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy then got up to the microphone and offered a defiant but optimistic message.
“The people of the Village of Sea Cliff and all the surrounding communities have been saying ‘no’ to this development since 2000,” he shouted. “Obviously they haven’t heard us, but we are not going away; we’re not giving up this fight. Their plan is bad - it’s bad for them, it’s bad for us, it’s bad for Long Island. This is not a Glen Cove issue; this is a regional issue.”
"Reggie Spinello [the Mayor of Glen Cove]," Mayor Kennedy continued, “calls us NIMBYs - you know what I call us - Stakeholders. We’re people that live here. This is our waterfront, this is our beach. We should have a say.”
He encouraged the demonstrators to attend City Council meetings and IDEA meetings and to be at the ceremonial opening of the Garvies Point Welcome Center on Monday, May 23rd.
“Show up and tell them ‘no.’ Tell them we’re not going away," he shouted. "We need to keep fighting and not give up. We can win this; this is winnable, and I smell victory!”
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