Dear Residents and Businesses,
Yesterday, September 9th, the Village of Floral Park commenced an Article 78 Proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State New York, Nassau County seeking judicial review of the approval by Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) of the Belmont Park Re-Development Project (the “Project”).
The Village was compelled to take this step because ESD failed to address the concerns of our residents and failed to mitigate the very real negative consequences to our Village that will result from the massive size and scope of the Project, which includes a shopping mall, a hotel and a sports and entertainment arena.
It is truly unfortunate that this is how this process is unfolding. The Village of Floral Park has never opposed the reasonable re-development of the underutilized parcels at Belmont Park. In fact, for over a decade the Village has advocated for the development of a “Master Plan” for Belmont that would include meaningful input from the communities that surround Belmont, including Floral Park.
The Village sought very early on to work proactively with ESD and the Project developer, New York Arena Partners (“NYAP”), to have our concerns about the Project addressed so that a project of reasonable size and scope could move forward without negatively impacting the Village.
However, the good faith extended by the Village was not returned by ESD and NYAP. Despite near unanimous public opinion that the size and scope of the Project needed to be scaled back if the Project were to be workable, ESD and NYAP drastically increased the size and impact of the Project. Meanwhile, our residents’ concerns about increased traffic and the impact on our residential areas were virtually ignored.
We are firm in our conviction that the commencement of this litigation now was unfortunately our last recourse and is required to ensure that the suburban character of our community is not negatively impacted for decades to come. While the Village remains willing to work cooperatively with the State to address our residents’ legitimate concerns, promised initial meetings with the State have been continually held off while construction of the Project moves forward.
The Village Board and I would like to once again thank the hundreds of residents who spoke at the public hearings, signed letters requesting certain considerations, submitted extensive and very substantive written comments and/or attended various other community events (e.g., ESD Board meetings, open forums with our State Senator, etc.). As always, we appreciate your engagement, and value your input on this, and other, matters.
Dominick A. Longobardi
Please click below for a copy of the Petition-Complaint & Exhibits