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Firm Successfully Defends City of Glen Cove in Lawsuits Challenging Master Plan and Approvals for the Villa at Glen Cove

The Firm successfully represented the City of Glen Cove in two lawsuits filed by Glen Cove residents Roni Epstein and Marsha Silverman, who challenged the City’s approval of the Villa at Glen Cove, a proposed 176-unit condominium complex to be built alongside Glen Cove Avenue at the western entrance to the City’s downtown area.

The City's approval of the Villa at Glen Cove was the culmination of a 10-year, multi-layered review process that included, among other things: (i) the adoption of a community-wide master plan by the City Council in 2010 that seeks to revitalize the core area of the City, open up new housing opportunities, remove blight, and encourage new downtown development; (ii) the enactment of community-wide rezoning legislation by the City Council in 2010 to implement the recommendations of the City’s master plan; (iii) the granting of site-specific zoning incentives and waivers to the project by the City Council in 2015 in accordance with the master plan and rezoning; and (iv) the granting of a site-specific site plan approval to the project by the Planning Board in 2016.

In the lawsuits, Mss. Epstein and Silverman alleged, among other things, that the City failed to properly identify and analyze the environmental impacts of its various land-use determinations under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). In a ruling on October 4, 2017, the Nassau County Supreme Court (Peck, J.) disagreed and dismissed the lawsuits.

At the outset, the Court found that the residents’ challenge to the propriety of the City’s review of the environmental impacts of the master plan and rezoning was time-barred by the statute of limitations. The Court further found that the City conducted a proper review of the environmental impacts of the site-specific approvals that the City granted to the project. The Court found that, in connection with its site-specific review of the project, the City had identified all relevant areas of environmental concern relating to the project, took a “hard look” at them through an extensive and time-consuming environmental impact review process, and supported its environmental findings with reasoned elaborations. A temporary restraining order that was placed on the project was also vacated, allowing the project to move forward.

Firm Partners Jon Ward, John Farrell, and Joseph Bjarnson defended the City in the lawsuits.

"We are pleased that the Court ruled in favor of the City in these lawsuits," Mr. Ward said. "The real winners here are the citizens of Glen Cove. This project, at an entryway to the downtown area of the City, is an important part of the City’s overall revitalization plans. It will convert a blighted commercial parcel into a beautiful, multi-family community that will be a benefit to the entire City for years to come."

This was reported by Newsday and InnovateLI.

Click here for the Newsday article.

Click here for the InnovateLI article.

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