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Residents still fighting waterfront development

Glen Cove City Hall is shown.

Glen Cove City Hall is shown. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

A giant redevelopment of a blighted part of Glen Cove's waterfront nears construction, but some residents of the city and neighboring Sea Cliff vow to continue trying to block it.

The City of Glen Cove planning board Tuesday voted 6-1 to grant a special-use permit for the $850-million-plus Garvies Point development, during a raucous meeting at which some of the more than 100 people in the audience accused board members of pushing the project through without enough public input.

But planning chairman Thomas Scott said board members have listened to numerous residents' testimony at "many, many, many public hearings over the last five years."

The proposed development includes 1,110 condominium and rental units, four parks, three marinas, stores, a restaurant, offices, an amphitheater and other amenities. Tuesday's vote was the last on the project master plan, a revised version of a 2011 plan the board approved.

City officials anticipate closing the land deal with developer RXR by the end of the year, with construction expected to begin in the early spring.

John Perrone, the sole planning board member to vote against the master plan, said in an interview that RXR has been "amazingly accommodating through this entire procedure," adding parkland and making other changes in response to requests from the planning board.

"I absolutely am not against the waterfront project. . . . But the massing of this building is just too big," Perrone said, referring to one of the residential structures that includes two 11-story towers connected by a three-story section that will contain a pool and other amenities.

The height of the buildings is a central objection of residents of Sea Cliff, just south of the 56-acre redevelopment site.

Sea Cliff's Elizabeth Boudreau, 53, said waterfront views are a key reason people live in the village. The towers would mar the sightlines and light from the development would partially bleach out the sunsets, she said.

Sea Cliff resident Amy Marion argued that the city must conduct another environmental review of the project, because there have been substantial changes to it since the 2011 vote.

But planning board member Michael Bellissimo said changes weren't significant enough to necessitate a new study.

Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy said the city is reneging on a 2000 agreement with Sea Cliff to limit the development to 700,000 square feet and to build no higher than 45 feet.

But Brad Schwartz, special counsel to the planning board on the project, said the village hadn't brought up the memorandum of understanding for years. "The law doesn't protect parties who neglect to assert an alleged claim for 15 years," he said.


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