Judge dismisses claims against Atlantic Beach Club cabanas

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An appellate judge has dismissed claims against the Atlantic Beach Club that alleged the private facility's town-approved expansion would threaten area property values.

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division denied the claims of Ruth and Seymour Radow, who live 0.69 miles from the beach club located at 1393 Beech St. The couple were not seeking damages, but asking for the town to reverse its ruling that approved additions to the club after they already had been made.

The Hempstead Town Board approved retroactive zoning changes in April 2012 for the Atlantic Beach Club, which added several cabanas that were illegal under the previous zoning code.

Residents opposed the ruling, citing concerns such as traffic congestion and blocked ocean views. Neighbors also said they feared the ruling could set a precedent for future rulings and developers ignoring existing zoning ordinances.

The court found in its Aug. 6 ruling that the Radows lacked standing in challenging seven zoning variances the board approved and any claims that their property would suffer from overcrowding and congestion "are purely speculative."

Christian Browne, an attorney for the beach club, said Thursday the Radows lived too far away from the club to show they were adversely affected. The case filed by the Radows and two other residents was dismissed by state Supreme Court in Nassau County in 2012. The Radows were the only residents to appeal the decision.

"You can't just say stuff is bad," Browne said. "You have to articulate harm to yourself that's different than harm that would befall the general community."

A telephone message left for the Radows Thursday was not returned.

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Several of the club's 189 cabanas were built over several decades on the 14-acre beachfront property without the proper permits. Some of the cabanas are larger than buildings on the site. The club also sought an expansion of cabanas beyond the flood zone. Club officials said some of the changes were more than 60 years old.

Hempstead officials approved an application for the members-only club to keep the cabanas and use the clubhouse for events and off-street parking. They also approved two trailers used as offices and two storage containers.

The Beach Club was built in 1939 and sold to Atlantic Beach Land Co. in 2007 for $9.5 million.

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