A State Supreme Court justice has agreed to hold a joint trial in two cases that allege Glen Cove’s planning board broke the law by approving a permit for a controversial $1-billion development along the city’s waterfront.
Justice Antonio Brandveen wrote that combining the trials is in “the interest of justice and judicial economy” because the cases have “common questions of law and fact.”
Both suits were filed on Nov. 5 and ask for a nullification of the board’s Oct. 6 approval of a special-use permit.
The suits target the Garvies Point development, a plan by Uniondale-based developer RXR to build 1,110 condominium and rental units, four parks, three marinas, stores, a restaurant, offices, an amphitheater and other amenities on a formerly industrial site. RXR and the city are named as defendants in the cases.
Attorneys for RXR asked Brandveen to combine the trials.
“The issues were the same, so we petitioned that they be argued at the same time,” said Frank Haftel, director of the Garvies Point project for RXR.
Brandveen said none of the lawyers for the plaintiffs or defendants objected to the request.
In one suit, the Village of Sea Cliff alleges Glen Cove is violating a 2000 intermunicipal agreement that called for a maximum 700,000 square feet for the development and a maximum building height of 52 feet. The project currently is 1.72 million square feet. Two towers would rise 125 feet, according to court documents.
Michael Zarin, a White Plains attorney advising the city on the project, has said the 2000 agreement was not legally binding.
The other suit, filed by 39 residents of Sea Cliff, Glen Cove and Glen Head, says the planning board must prepare a new, exhaustive supplemental environmental impact statement before issuing a special-use permit.
Zarin contends environmental studies have already been completed and no new study is needed.
Construction of Garvies Point is slated to begin later this year.