The Village of Floral Park is heading to court over the Belmont arena project after it was approved this past summer.
On Sept. 9, the village commenced an Article 78 proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State New York, Nassau County, seeking judicial review of the project approval by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD).
In a message on the village’s website, the village said, while it was unfortunate that it was compelled to take this step since the ESD failed to address the concerns of residents and failed to mitigate negative consequences to the village that will result from the massive size and scope of the project.
In the village’s filing, it said the Belmont redevelopment project will include a large sporting and concert arena that will host more than 200 high-attendance events each year, retail space development comparable to a full-sized mall that will attract millions of visitors and traffic annually, a 250-room hotel, as well as more development for entertainment and dining that will directly compete with small local businesses, which anchor local communities. A brand-new Elmont train station, which will be constructed in Bellerose Terrace, is also now part of the project.
Additionally, there is a possible installation of two 30,000-gallon propane tanks below ground on the south side of the arena project near Red Road in Elmont. The propane gas tanks would provide heat to the hotel and retail village.
The statement goes on to continue that the “village has never opposed the redevelopment of the underutilized parcels at Belmont Park. In fact, for more than 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 held a press conference to urge the ESD to not approve the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) associated with the development project, but to instead conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) with a new comment period.
“Since day one, ESD has led a robust community engagement process, holding dozens of community meetings and public hearings, responding to thousands of comments and modifying the project accordingly,” said press secretary for ESD Jack Stern in a previous statement to the Illustrated News. “We are confident that our efforts exceed the requirements in state environmental law and that New Yorkers have had ample opportunity to make their voices heard. The law is clear that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is not warranted, and only stalls an important project from the positive benefits it will produce.”