SEA CLIFF VILLAGE SUES CITY OF GLEN COVE IN EFFORT TO BLOCK GARVIES POINT REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
In an effort to stop the Glen Cove Creek redevelopment project known as Garvies Point from moving forward, the Village of Sea Cliff filed an article 78 lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York (Nassau County) late last week against the City of Glen Cove, the City’s Planning Board, the City Council, and the project’s developer Rexcorp-Glen Isle Partners LLC.
Among other allegations, the suit alleges 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 establishes 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 imposes limits on the size of the redevelopment.
The legal action comes one month after the Glen Cove Planning Board approved the developer’s amended master development plan for the 56 acre property that includes 1100 residential units and an 11 story, 125 foot tall, building across Glen Cove Creek from Sea Cliff, and during the same week that another article 78 lawsuit seeking to scuttle the project was filed by three dozen residents of Sea Cliff, Glen Cove and Glen Head. The Village’s petition seeks a declaratory judgement, injunctive relief, and enforcement of the 2000 agreement.
Addressing the Planning Board during its October 6 meeting when it voted 6-1 to approve the amended plan, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy said that it was his “intention to enforce the MOU in every way we possibly can.” And afterwards, in response to questions from Northwordnews said that the Village would pursue litigation "if that is something the residents would support."
In a statement released to the press on Wednesday announcing the lawsuit, the Village asserted that the “proposed Waterfront Development Plan would significantly alter forever the character of the community and transform Hempstead Harbor, which is currently a bucolic waterfront, environmentally sensitive land into a gigantic, sprawling, and super-densely-packed subdivision with one thousand one hundred residential units, including a single structure that is 125 feet tall with a mass of 635,000 square feet.”
“We will fight to keep this disproportionate and inappropriate development from changing our community’s character and destroying our environment.” said Mayor Kennedy.
In addition to breach of contract, the petition alleges 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 SEQRA analysis.” Additionally, the petition alleges the City failed to provide interested agencies with notice of the amendment application and its potential environmental impact.”
The Sea Cliff Mayor said that stopping this particular proposal is not only important to the village, but to the region as a whole. “Glen Cove Creek and its surrounding communities constitute an environmentally sensitive area and we will not allow the City of Glen Cove to make mistakes that will cause irreparable harm and a permanent transformation of our community,” he said. “We will not accept the adverse environmental impacts that this project will assuredly bring without having a voice in how this land is developed.”
Newsday reported that an attorney advising the City of Glen Cove on the Garvies Point Project said that the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding was "not legally binding." The attorney was quoted as saying that the agreement "was a sort of letter of intent between the Mayor Glen Cove and the Mayor of Sea Cliff to cooperate and work together."
Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, said in response to questions from News 12 last week that he believed the project would provide a significant economic stimulus to the City of Glen Cove generating jobs and millions in tax revenue for the City.
At a budget meeting on September 16, Mr. Spinello said that the $3 million in proceeds from the sale of the 52 acres of land owned by the City will help balance the 2016 budget, protecting residents from a significant spike in their taxes. He also stated that the City would likely have to borrow $15 million to improve the roads accessing the area.
The master development plan that was approved last month amends a 2.1 million square foot proposal that had been approved in 2011, that included 860 residential units, two 12 story buildings, a hotel and Conference center. The 12 story 125 foot tall structure closest to Sea Cliff in that proposal was about 30% smaller in terms of square footage than in the current plan. That approved plan has not been challenged in court.
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CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE 78 PETITION FILED BY THE VILLAGE OF SEA CLIFF
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2000 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF SEA CLIFF, THE CITY OF GLEN COVE AND THE NORTH SHORE ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE
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)