The Floral Park Board of Trustees urged residents to submit online comments about the impact of the proposed Belmont redevelopment project and said it is reviewing its legal options.
“There are options for us. We are exploring those options. We have not made any decisions on what legal options we are going to move towards yet,” Mayor Dominick Longobardi said Tuesday at a meeting of the village board where residents were updated on the Environmental Impact Statement for the arena project.
On July 8, Gov. Cuomo announced plans for a new LIRR train station that would accompany the planned Islanders arena in Belmont. On the same day, the Empire State Development board voted in Manhattan to publish the arena project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement online. Public comments on the statement are being accepted until July 23 at noon.
Longobardi and the board said they doubt that July 8 to July 23 is enough time to review the over 8,000-page document in a thorough manner. Despite this, Longobardi said in an interview that the board plans to submit final comments on the arena and the LIRR station by Tuesday.
Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald thanked all residents who attended the July 8 Empire State Development team’s public hearing about the impact statement. Longobardi and other board members attended and spoke to the development board.
“Although the ESD listened to our comments for almost three hours they did approve the release of the final impact statement,” Fitzgerald said. On the length of the statement, Fitzgerald said, “The FEIS is north of 8,000 pages long and the time allotted to review it is extremely short.”
Fitzgerald said there are still “significant concerns” about development in the area.
In addition to a new arena for the New York Islanders, the $1 billion redevelopment of Belmont Park will include a 435,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex and a new hotel, according to the developers.
Longobardi has said in the past that his main concerns about the project are traffic, parking and security. At the Empire State Development meeting last week Longobardi said, “As this project progressed new elements were introduced such as the use of the south parking lot for the “Shopping Experience,” forcing the major majority of the parking to be behind the main racetrack and placing it adjacent to our grammar school and many of our homes, leaving our residents to deal with all kinds of issues from security, tailgating, light and noise pollution, etc. We have discussed ways to alleviate these issues such as natural barriers, directed lighting.”
Longobardi said that village engineers and lawyers are still reviewing the impact of a new train station in the area and did not comment on the station.
Longobardi did write in a letter to residents, “Although a train station may be helpful in that it may alleviate some traffic, it’s not a panacea and, quite frankly, generates additional concerns as to the placement of the train station and its impact on surrounding residents.”
“We are asking all of you, our residents, our business owners if you have comments that you wish to make and address the FEIS please make sure you get those in next Tuesday by 12 to the ESD,” Longobardi said at the meeting.