Village of Sea Cliff, residents lose Garvies Point appeal

Sea Cliff hopes to improve relations with Glen Cove


A state appeals court ruled on Feb. 6 against the Village of Sea Cliff and a group of a hundred Glen Cove and Sea Cliff residents who were seeking in separate lawsuits to halt construction of the Garvies Point luxury development in Glen Cove. The decision allows construction of the $1 billion project to continue.

The four-judge appellate court panel unanimously upheld a 2016 ruling by State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen.

Sea Cliff officials had argued that the project, developed by Uniondale-based RXR Glen Isle Partners, violated a 2000 memorandum of understanding between Sea Cliff and the City of Glen Cove to place height restrictions, among other construction parameters, on new development. According to the memorandum, the height restriction was set at 65 feet, but Sea Cliff Administrator Bruce Kennedy said the Garvies Point project “doubled that.”

The residents, who were represented by attorney Amy Marion, claimed in their suit that contaminants were found at the development site, so construction had to stop until an additional environmental study could be completed.

Both parties filed their appeals against RXR and the City of Glen Cove last October.

Attorney Michael Zarin, who represented Glen Cove, said, “We were gratified to see the unanimous decision of the [appellate court] upholding the city’s actions, in full legal compliance with all the applicable regulations.”

RXR purchased the 28-acre Garvies Point property, which was once heavily contaminated with industrial waste, in November 2016. The project will include 1,100 residential units, commercial and retail space, marinas, a waterfront esplanade, walkways and trails, a bike path, a dog park, playgrounds, an “ecology pier,” an amphitheater, restaurants and access to Glen Cove’s ferry terminal.

“This has been a long process over literally decades,” Zarin said. “This site has finally been remediated and will bring back real value to the community.”

Zarin argued in a legal brief that the memorandum of understanding was not binding because Tom Suozzi, who was the Glen Cove mayor in 2000 and is now a congressman, was not authorized to sign it, because the City Council had never voted on it.

The appellate court determined that the memorandum gave Sea Cliff the right to object if Glen Cove allowed a developer to exceed construction parameters, but did not have the power to stop construction. Kennedy disagreed, however, saying, “We have standing as it relates to what goes there and how it would impact the residents of Sea Cliff. It’s not the Village of Sea Cliff that lost. The entire North Shore has lost.”

Kennedy said he hoped the current Glen Cove administration would be more open to “constructive and cooperative dialogue” with the village on future developments.

Danielle Agoglia and Zach Gottehrer-Cohen contributed to this story.