Mayor’s Message: December 13, 2017
There is an old saying, “the Devil is in the Details”. This certainly applies in the situation regarding the Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) offer to accept ideas for the development of the property owned and controlled by New York State for development at Belmont Park. Once again our Village finds itself faced with the challenge of defending our beloved homes and businesses and the way of life we have come to enjoy from outside influences that may adversely affect us.
The proposals offered to the EDC for the development at Belmont Park include two sports arenas. One of the arenas offered by NY ARENA Partners will be an 18,000 seat closed arena which will be the home of the NY Islanders. The other, offered by a group sponsored by the New York Football Club, will be a 26,000 seat open-air soccer stadium. In addition, the proposals include hotels, shops and restaurants, parking fields, soccer fields, recreation and open space and space for the local community.
The Village and the Belmont Task Force have been working diligently to express our concerns regarding any development at Belmont Park. The Village has reached out to the ownership of both proposals in an effort to sit down and explain those concerns to these developers so that if some type of development happens, they will be aware of our concerns and how our residents and business owners will be working towards protecting our community. The Village is also working with our Senator Elaine Phillips and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages to ensure our concerns are addressed. Senators Todd Kaminsky and Leroy Comrie and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel are also involved and have been gracious enough to hear our concerns and work together. To date, those involved from the EDC have an understanding of the importance of our concerns and issues and are also doing what they can to work with us within the confines of the limitations in the process.
While everyone is working together, the bigger issue of a master plan for any development at Belmont Park that addresses all parties’ ideas and concerns is necessary. Development by NY State, NYRA and the concerns of the surrounding communities of Floral Park, Bellerose, Elmont, South Floral Park , Franklin Square, the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County and our friends on the Queens side all have to be addressed. Good planning eliminates many problems in the future. It goes without saying that proper planning may lead to better and more productive uses for one of the last tracts and undeveloped land in our region. To this end, the Village has advocated for a Community Advisory Council that will play a role in what happens in at Belmont Park. The Village is urging the EDC and NY State to take a step back and work towards a master plan for any development at Belmont Park with the input from all of those areas that are affected.
Ensuring the quality of life we have worked for and earned should not come at a price for such development. To that end, please find below, the submittal of 122 questions to the EDC regarding our concerns and issues. These questions were developed by the Village and members of the Belmont Task Force in order to express our deep concern for the affects the proposed development may have on our community. I want to thank all of the members of the Task Force for their continued and diligent work.
More work needs to be done. Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald, as head of the Belmont Task Force, the Village Board and the members of the Task Force, working with all of our residents and business owners and school leaders, will continue to be vigilant. Together we will work to protect our way of life and our beloved Village of Floral Park.
Please click link below for questions submitted by the Village prior to the December 10th Listening Session
Please click the link below for supplemental comments submitted by the Village after the December 10th Listening Session.