Former New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato will lead a lawsuit against the City of Long Beach seeking to force a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing to challenge building permits for two 15-floor apartment towers granted to the proposed Superblock development.
D’Amato and Carle Place attorney Steven Cohn plan to announce the litigation Thursday on the steps of the Nassau County Supreme Courthouse in Mineola on behalf of “The citizens of Long Beach” in a multi-taxpayer action, Cohn said Wednesday. D’Amato is expected to serve as co-counsel on the case.
The Long Beach Zoning Board of Appeals approved the project in 2014 after the city settled a lawsuit with Manhattan developer iStar Financial Inc. The board allowed iStar to move forward with plans to build 522 oceanfront apartments and 11,000 square feet of commercial space along the boardwalk.
The property between Riverside and Long Beach boulevards sat vacant for about 40 years as it was mired in litigation between the city and previous developers.
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has twice rejected tax breaks for iStar, which was seeking up to $129 million in relief. Representatives of the developer have said thery cannot proceed with their plans without tax breaks.
City officials said iStar threatened to sue the city for $105 million if they did not back their latest application for tax breaks from the IDA. No application has been submitted to the IDA and the city did not issue a letter of support after backing the initial development in a 2014 settlement.
Zoning board members three years ago approved variances that allowed the development to exceed the city’s height limit with 110-foot-tall buildings and a greater density on the property and two levels of underground parking.
Cohn said Wednesday developers never filed the appropriate plans to start construction, but the building permit was extended. City officials have said the variance for the property did not expire.
Cohn said he is asking the court to compel the city to hold a zoning board hearing on why the building permit is still outstanding.
A statement by the Zoning Board of Appeals said a request by a resident was recently made to rescind the variances and is under review by the board.