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Vested Rights Debate Continues

A second public hearing took place in Glen Cove City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 26 regarding the vested rights amendment for the Waterfront Redevelopment Project.

Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi explained that purpose is to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to establish vested rights in the approved master plan in the marine waterfront district. He said that only portion of the property is entitled to this amendment, for redevelopment renovations that began 20 years ago in a project that has been supported by numerous government officials and agencies.

The amendment would “provide for the establishment of certain statutory vested rights given the practical timing, cost, phasing and other considerations involved in implementing an approved Planned Unit Development Master Plan.” Additionally, the amendment would a establish an 18-month expiration date for a PUD Site Plan Approval in the waterfront district, as the zoning ordinance does not currently contain an expiration date specifically for PUD Site Plans.

Councilman Reginald Spinello reiterated his stance that he feels the council should have numbers before voting on vested rights. “Until we have numbers, how can we give these people 12 years, is this truly a good deal...I don’t think we have enough information to give these guys 12 years. I’m not trying to kill the process but I don’t think its there yet.”

“The IDA and CDA were established to negotiate these types of deals, said Michael Zarin, an attorney for the City of Glen Cove. “They were very extensive in their reviews...made sure terms were beneficial to the city...with all due respect, I would say a tremendous amount of activity and attention has gone into this on behalf of the city, and the vesting is really a very minor piece of this, which only says, based on all the work that all the city agencies have done, that they city council would be saying look, we won’t change the zoning on you for 12 years, so long as you now implement this project with faith on what the IDA, CDA and planning Board negotiated on the city’s behalf.. and if you don’t proceed in accordance with the terms...then we have the right to rescind that vesting and withdraw that entitlement. And it’s relatively small piece of the project.”

“I understand, my feeling is, I don’t think we need it,” said Spinello.

Zarin explained that the common law, called substantial construction, is a standard in New York State, and that vesting rights are becoming more important to investors and developers and have been added in accordance with circumstances.  “It’s a new phenomenon,” he said.  “In the past, units sold immediately; now with long term multi-phase buildouts, there is more uncertainty. This gives redevelopers some certainty so that they will invest up front.”

He added, “The redeveloper is responsible for financing all public amenities and to care for them in perpetuity.”

Mayor Suozzi said, “It adds a level of certainty not just to the redeveloper but to the financial institutions and officials who have supported this...this vesting provision is a small piece on the path which is part of a multiple power of paths...it creates a level of certainty…that the rules won’t be changed midstream.”

Resident David Nieri said, “I am concerned that the period of time is far too long, 12 years essentially ties our hands to do anything else. They haven’t really done anything in 10 years...the city has, but they seem to be happy with the slow pace...now we take away the incentive for them to move faster. 

Suozzi responded by saying there is a lot of work to be done, and that while the economy has played a role, more aspects about the project are now known and they have a better plan than what was there before. 

“They can’t just sit idle, it’s not a pass to hang around for 12 years.”

Resident Kristina Heuser said she did not see how this is beneficial to the city, and that passing the amendment would prevent any future elected officials from making changes down the line. 

The public hearing will continue at the March 12 city council meeting.


News

It was a country flavor at Sea Cliff Beach on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 14 as the alternative/country group Antigone Rising played in front of hundreds of local residents underneath the fading sunlight. The concert, which was originally slated for Saturday but rescheduled due to inclement weather, went off without 

a hitch as the ladies played a lot of their popular songs from different records. 

A drive down Prospect Avenue now reveals a hidden gem across from Tappan Beach, thanks to a project that took a decade and a half to come to fruition, and only eight months to complete. Scudder’s Pond, once hidden from the road behind tall phragmites, is not only visible, but much cleaner.

Plus, it's a significant step toward purifying the water in Hempstead Harbor. 

 

The $2.6 million project that involved dredging the pond for the first time in 30 years, installing a storm basin device and removing invasive non-native plants, all to combat problems from one of the largest sources of harbor contamination.


Sports

Glen Cove Junior Soccer got off on the right foot with its annual parade through the city ending at City Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 13. The parade had boys and girls from kindergarten to 10th grade march along with coaches and parents in their colorful uniforms. At the parade terminus, Glen Cove elected officials cheered the children on as they sat down on the field lines to hear the opening comments.

Hundreds of supporters turned out on Monday, Sept. 8 to golf, socialize with friends and dine beach-side at the 25th anniversary of SCO Family 

 of Services’ Howard F. Treiber Memorial Golf Open, SCO’s major fall fundraiser benefiting the 60,000 children, teens, adults and families served each year. The event began with brunch and shotgun tee offs at Meadow Brook Club in Jericho and The Creek Club in Locust Valley and concluded with dinner beach-side at The Creek. 


Calendar

Live Music - September 24

Whiskey Tasting - September 25

Play Bingo - September 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com