As Parkhurst residents usher in the new year and bid farewell to 2020, they must again confront the bitter pill served by Empire State Development Corp. (ESD), Governor Cuomo, and state elected officials whose signatures serve to usurp local zoning ordinances. And yes, we call out the local elected officials who surrender to the state's big-footed approach to this majority minority community as they too are in lock step with the actions of the state and big donors to the political class.
The Belmont Park Redevelopment project is steaming ahead despite overwhelming objections to the project.
Eric Alexander, Director at Vision Long Island noted in a recent Facebook post, “Belmont Park needed some form of development no doubt. The form and shape of it ended up being decided by pretty much anyone but the neighboring communities of Elmont and Floral Park [and] with minimal community benefits.”
He continues, “The public hearings had 110 speakers against to 9 in favor, the public comment cards and letters were like 5000 negatives to 30 positives. The SEQRA document was incomplete and traffic mitigation was minimal.”
Yet, four days before Christmas on the Winter solstice – the longest and darkest night of the year ESD held a “comment only hearing” for an unwelcomed expansion to the unwelcomed Belmont Park Redevelopment Project. For Elmont residents the Winter solstice was not merely an astrological event, it was the evening ESD dimmed the lights on the future of Elmont, the Gateway to Nassau County.
The initial Belmont Park Redevelopment proposal (the one that received an almost 99 percent negative response from the Belmont Park Community) included significant babble about tax relief, park renovations, traffic mitigation, berms, soundproof windows and air conditioners for residents etc.
Instead, we see mission creep, bait-and-switch and slick talk from Marion Phillips, III Vice President of Community Relations, ESD:
- A “shut your trap” $100M waste of a Bellerose Terrace train station and taxpayer dollars;
- A PILOT plot hatched before the project expansion and thus far non-existent;
- A 10-foot-high wall that infringes on the air rights of the residents in the area;
- A sixty-foot-high parking structure; and
- A recharge station for transportation vehicles to and from the “new” Bellerose Terrace train station masqueraded as an “Elmont Commuter Rail Station”.
The Winter solstice did not provide enough darkness for ESD and their enablers to hide their skullduggery from the “woke” Elmont resident.
We the members of the Parkhurst Civic Association and the Belmont Park Community Coalition reiterate all of our prior objections to the project dating back to its inception and including the proposed expansions.
President, Parkhurst Civic Assoc