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Lawsuits aimed at delaying, altering $850M waterfront project

Glen Cove can be seen across Glen Cove

Glen Cove can be seen across Glen Cove Creek from Sea Cliff Village Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The Village of Sea Cliff has filed a lawsuit against Glen Cove to stop the city's massive waterfront project. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Hearings on two lawsuits aimed at delaying and altering Glen Cove’s giant waterfront project have been postponed to February. Initial hearings on both cases had been slated for Monday. December 21.

In one suit, the Village of Sea Cliff alleges that Glen Cove is violating a 15-year-old intermunicipal agreement by going ahead with the $850-million-plus Garvies Point development. In another, more than three dozen residents of Sea Cliff, Glen Cove and Glen Head accuse the city planning board of breaking state law by not requiring new environmental studies on the project site. Both suits were filed on Nov. 5.

Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Anthony L. Parga is scheduled to hear the village’s case on Feb. 5. Supreme Court Justice Antonio Brandveen was assigned the residents’ case, which also is scheduled for a Feb. 5 hearing.

The city and the project’s developer, Uniondale-based RXR Realty, are named as defendants.

Garvies Point includes 1,110 condominium and rental units, four parks, three marinas, stores, a restaurant, offices, an amphitheater and other amenities.

The project currently is 1.72 million square feet, more than double the 700,000 that Glen Cove agreed to with Sea Cliff in a 2000 document. Two 11-story towers in the redevelopment would be nearly three times higher than the maximum height in the 2000 agreement.

Michael Zarin, a White Plains attorney advising the city on the project, said last month that the 2000 agreement was not legally binding.

The residents’ suit asks the court to nullify an Oct. 6 special-use permit that the planning board granted for the development and require the board to prepare an exhaustive supplemental environmental impact statement before issuing another permit.

Garden City-based attorney Amy Marion, who represents the residents of Sea Cliff, Glen Head and Glen Cove who are plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits, said contamination on the site, which primarily had been industrial land, is so severe that it creates a cancer risk for future residents and visitors.

Zarin said last month that federal and state agencies have studied the site for decades and would not allow it to be occupied if there were health risks. No new study is needed, he said.

Construction is slated to begin in the spring.

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