Belmont Update, November 7, 2019
Today Judge Roy Mahon issued a decision scheduling a return date of December 6th on the Village’s request for a limited preliminary injunction to prevent NYAP from continuing with any “irreversible” work pending the outcome of the Village’s Article 78 Action. However, Judge Mahon declined to grant the Village’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) pending the determination of the Village’s request for a preliminary injunction. In order to grant the extraordinary relief of a TRO, the Judge would had to have found that the Village is presently suffering “irreparable damages” as a result of the construction. The Village provided evidence that the Village and its residents were presently being injured by the construction work, specifically due to the increase of heavy construction vehicle traffic on Plainfield Avenue and the construction and staging activity taking place right next to the residences on Crocus Avenue and Floral Park Bellerose School playground. The Village explained that these impacts were not addressed during the environmental review process. However, NYAP and ESD were able to remove the immediate harms being suffered, representing to the Court that, as of November 5th, they have undertaken to stop all project related truck traffic on Plainfield Avenue (including the closing to truck traffic Gate 8 across from FP Memorial on Plainfield) and that they have moved the construction and staging work away from the residences on Crocus and the FPB School Playground.
We are grateful for the apparently positive outcome to the residents of Crocus Avenue, our school children and the lessening of the issues arising from the excessive truck traffic on Plainfield Avenue. However, the fact that the Village was forced to go the extraordinary length of filing a motion in Court to get NYAP and ESD to take reasonable steps to mitigate the negative impacts of this Project only goes to prove that this Project and its negative impacts were never thoroughly thought through. It is well past time for NYAP, ESD and the State to sit down with the surrounding communities who will be negatively impacted by this Project and develop a real and comprehensive mitigation plan, as they should have done, but failed to do, during the Environmental Review Process. The Village continues to remain open to meet and discuss any and all issues with ESD, NYAP and all related parties to develop plans and work to ensure all issues are addressed so that all of our residents’ daily lives are not negatively impacted.
Dominick A. Longobardi