Hempstead settles suit over proposed Roosevelt Field expansion
The Town of Hempstead has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a real estate law attorney who was attempting to block a local ordinance that would allow a proposed expansion of Roosevelt Field mall.
The town board voted 6-0 Tuesday night to authorize the town attorney to execute a settlement agreement with attorney Richard Rubin, who sued the town in December, along with Simon Property Group Inc. and Retail Property Trust, owner and manager of Roosevelt Field mall.
"There is no monetary component to the settlement," town spokesman Michael Deery said Wednesday. "The town is pleased that the parties have reached an agreement."
The town board in October unanimously approved the Regional Shopping Mall zoning ordinance to set limits on parking and floor space, and a maximum building height at 75 feet and up to four stories for the two megamalls in the town: Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City and Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. The amended zoning made way for the addition of a proposed two-story, 100,000-square-foot building for Neiman Marcus at Roosevelt Field.
Rubin, whose law office is on Stewart Avenue in Garden City near the mall, claimed that as a result of the adoption of the zoning ordinance and the approval of the mall expansion plans in November, he would "personally suffer damages, different from those suffered by the public in general," according to the town resolution. Rubin asserted the town violated the State Environmental Quality Review Act by enacting the mall district zoning, approving Simon's expansion plan and enacting spot zoning.
"It was apparent that he would lose in court and we asked him to settle and he withdrew it," Town Attorney Joseph Ra said at Tuesday's board meeting in response to a resident's question.
In anticipation of the town board's approval of the settlement agreement, Rubin filed a notice of discontinuance with the Suffolk County Supreme Court in February. Simon has already settled with Rubin.
Rubin and an attorney representing him from the Melville-based Weber Law Group did not respond to requests for comment.
"As far as Simon is concerned, the matter was ended," Simon's attorney, William Bonesso of Uniondale, said Wednesday.