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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

In order to meet the necessary budget requirements, the Glen Cove School District will reduce school staff members, starting in the 2014-15 school year. One administrative staff member and nine instructional staff members will be let go, according to Superintendent

Maria Rianna’s report at the Monday night school board meeting. Staff reductions will also be made to teaching assistants, school monitors, substitute teachers and custodial and maintenance workers. The total savings for the district is $1,227,669.

 

As of March 31, revenues for the district total $79,281,428. The revenues include the tax levy ($64,780,719),  P.I.L.O.T.s ($1,908,060), tax on consumer utility bills ($1,250,000)n use of reserves ($1,250,000), State Aid ($8,751,799), all other revenues ($635,850) and appropriation of unassigned fund balance ($750,000).

 

The total appropriations for the district are $80,509,097 and revenues are $79,281,428 with a budget gap of $1,227,669.

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


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