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Sea Cliff, residents lose appeal to halt construction of Garvies Point

The developer plans to complete about half of the housing units at the Glen Cove waterfront complex by later this year.

An August 2017 rendition of what Garvies Point

An August 2017 rendition of what Garvies Point would look like with storm resiliency measures in Glen Cove. Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Village of Sea Cliff and more than 100 residents from there and nearby communities lost an appeal Wednesday to stop construction of the $1 billion Garvies Point development, clearing another hurdle for completion of the 1,100-unit waterfront complex in Glen Cove. 

The village and residents appealed a 2016 state Supreme Court decision out of Nassau County that dismissed two lawsuits against Glen Cove and developer RXR Glen Isle Partners. They had called for the Appellate Division Second Department of Brooklyn to annul the 2015 Glen Cove City Planning Board approval of Garvies Point.

The waterfront development will include 1,110 condominiums and apartments and other amenities built on former industrial land once heavily contaminated by chemicals left by a metal processing plant, salvage yard and oil storage tanks.   

On Wednesday, a panel of four appellate judges upheld the lower court’s decision.

“It was the correct decision and should put to rest any questions concerning the actions that were taken by the city as the project moves forward,” said Michael Zarin, an attorney for the City of Glen Cove. 

Both suits alleged the city planning board violated environmental laws in approving the project. The Sea Cliff suit also says Glen Cove violated a 2000 memorandum of understanding between the two municipalities that called for a much smaller development.

Amy Marion, an attorney for the residents, argued in October that the city misrepresented the extent of an environmental cleanup of the land in a 2011 environmental impact statement required for the project to move forward.

“Obviously, we’re very disappointed,” Marion said Thursday. “Now the court has rubber-stamped and allowed this type of behavior to continue and fester.”

Marion said she’s not yet sure if they’ll file an appeal with the New York Court of Appeals.

Bruce Kennedy, a former mayor of Sea Cliff, said he believes that the memorandum of understanding “was binding” and clearly dictated the limitations of future development at Garvies Point.

“Unfortunately, the appellate judge is looking more at the letter of the law rather than the intent of the agreement,” said Kennedy, who now serves as Sea Cliff’s administrator.

Kennedy said the village’s board of trustees will discuss how to proceed at a meeting next Tuesday.

RXR plans to complete about half of the housing units at Garvies Point by late 2019, according to spokesman Robert Leonard. 

“We are gratified that the Appellate Division upheld the Supreme Court’s prior rulings and unanimously agreed that these lawsuits are wholly without merit,” said Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, the majority partner in RXR Glen Isle Partners.

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