Empire State Development extends Belmont comments deadline

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A rendering of the Belmont redevelopment project plans. (Photo courtesy of Empire State Development)

Empire State Development has extended the deadline for public comments about the environmental impact study of the Belmont redevelopment project.

In a letter from Empire State Development, the deadline for comments has been extended from Feb. 15 to March 1, giving those interested in voicing support, concerns or opposition an additional two weeks.

ESD was not available for comment at the time of publication.

In December, ESD’s board voted unanimously to approve the draft environmental impact study despite traffic congestion concerns directly related to the Cross Island Parkway, among other issue cited by community members. 

The development envisions a 19,000-seat arena home for the New York Islanders, a retail space, a 150-foot-tall hotel that has been lowered from the initial proposed 250 feet after community concerns, 7,000 parking spaces in three lots and a power substation.

According to Longobardi, the village office has collected over 2,000 letters from Floral Park residents that it plans to submit en masse to ESD. Longobardi expressed thanks to village residents for their active involvement in addressing aspects of the project’s scope. 

“We have come together and presented a reasoned yet forceful analysis of proposals that can negatively impact our village.”

Floral Park residents have been vocal critics of the project.

Following the approval of the draft study and adoption of a proposed general project plan, ESD hosted three public forums at Elmont Memorial Library in January that drew hundreds of speakers, including Longobardi, village Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister and state senators.

Earlier this month the Nassau County Village Officials Association also passed a resolution, while taking no position on the project, that its approval should be contingent on a full-time Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont.

If the development project is approved, it should require that the current rail station is transformed into a full-service train station and that the developer must bear and pay all costs associated with the upgrade of the station, without the expenditure of public resources, the association’s executive director, Ralph Kreitman, wrote.

Written comments responding to the project DEIS can be submitted to Michael Avolio, Empire State Development, 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, or by email to BelmontOutreach@esd.ny.gov. Comments and emails will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 1.

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