An Atlantic Beach couple challenged a beach club expansion to maintain hurricane evacuation routes and avoid setting precedent for building code exceptions, their son, who was their attorney, said.
Neither lived to hear their appeal, denied earlier this month two years after their case was filed, their son Ray Radow said.
Seymour Radow died in February at the age of 91. Ruth Radow died last month at 88.
The couple filed an appeal in 2012 challenging the Town of Hempstead's ruling that approved retroactive zoning ordinances for the Atlantic Beach Club on Beech Street. They argued, among other things, that the beach club's expansion would diminish their property values.
"They were afraid of chipping away at the marine recreation laws, which were passed to prevent development of oceanfront properties and to discourage development," Radow said.
An attorney for the Atlantic Beach Club, Christian Browne, said the Radows lived too far away to be affected by the club's buildings and expansion. He said many of the buildings being disputed already existed for more than 50 years.
The Radows filed their case with Nassau County Supreme Court in April 2012. The case was dismissed by the court four months later. The couple filed an appeal in August 2012.
The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled on Aug. 6 that the couple lacked standing in challenging the beach club's expansion because they lived .69 miles away and were not directly affected. The couple was deceased by the time of that ruling.
The court said they would have needed to prove their property was specifically affected by traffic and congestion, more so than the public at large. The court ruling, delivered two years after it was filed, made no mention of their deaths.
Speaking of his parents' legacy, Radow said they were also concerned with keeping roads clear from parking and construction in order to keep them open in case of an evacuation during floods or hurricanes, Radow said.
"For people like my parents, it's a little bit harder to evacuate," Radow said. "Sometimes minutes count. When lives are at stake, it's a good enough excuse to say it could affect them."