May 16, 2016
Cashin Spinelli & Ferretti, LLC
Program & Construction Management Municipal Planning
801 Motor Parkway, Suite 103 Hauppauge, New York 11788
Thomas Scott, Chairman
City of Glen Cove Planning Board 9 Glen Street
Glen Cove, NY 11542
Re: Glen Cove Waterfront Development – CSF #40:1613-O
Dear Chairman Scott:
This correspondence is submitted in follow up to a series of prior letters which Cashin Spinelli and Ferretti, LLC (CSF) prepared on behalf of the Town of Oyster Bay during the original State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process for the above referenced project. CSF is the Town’s primary consultant with respect to environmental review.
We are aware that a supplemental SEQRA process was recently completed for an amendment to the originally approved site plan, and that the Planning Board’s decision is subject to ongoing litigation. The Town of Oyster Bay is not a party to that litigation. However, we are seeking clarification or explanation regarding certain issues pertaining to the project which, based on the information available to us, may have not been fully resolved in either the SEQRA process for the original approval or the supplemental SEQRA process for the site plan amendment.
- Traffic – During the SEQRA process for the original application, CSF asked about project-related impacts at the intersection of Northern Boulevard (NYS Route 25A) and Glen Cove Road. The response in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) indicated that adequate mitigation was not practicable to address project-related impacts, and that the project would contribute to deteriorated operating conditions at this location. It would be helpful to know whether this conclusion may have been altered in the intervening years – e.g., by new data, changes in background conditions circumstances, etc. – either in a positive or negative direction.
- Site Contamination – The recent litigation papers cite various claims of inconsistencies and shortcomings in the information in the environmental documentation regarding site remediation. Attaining an adequate cleanup of the site is critical to ensuring the protection of public health and the environment, which is one of the most important goals of the redevelopment of any brownfield site. Accordingly, it would be beneficial if elaboration were provided to demonstrate that the project will achieve the necessary levels of remediation to prevent public exposure and environmental impacts due to site contaminants.
- Stormwater Management – It does not appear that the impacts of the project amendments on water quality have been adequately addressed, in terms of stormwater management, including imperviousness bordering ecologically sensitive tidal wetlands, and measures to mitigate same.
We believe that measures should be specified to ensure that soil from contaminated areas is not transported offsite via stormwater runoff during an extreme storm event to adjacent lands and waterbodies. The impacts of inadequacies in stormwater management and soil stabilization are not only potentially hazardous to human health and safety, but also can adversely affect shellfish beds which are a critical environmental resource which the Town has worked diligently with various agencies to protect. Given the intensity of the development as compared to the existing condition, we request that the best available practices be implemented.
Nassau County can provide a waiver regarding an eight-inch stormwater storage requirement, typically down to five inches of retention, but we are not aware that they can approve any waiver for less than two inches of on-site storage. We do not believe that this project should be held to the lowest possible standard for stormwater management given the size of the development and associated magnitude of stormwater runoff volume, and the site’s location adjoining critical coastal resources.
A municipality’s stormwater program must ensure no increase of a listed pollutant of concern to waterbody on the New York State 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies. Glen Cove Creek was included on this List as of 2014; however, as a result of the cumulative effect of actions taken to abate stormwater impacts over the years, the Creek is slated for removal under a draft amended List released in January 2016. This should not be viewed as an easing of restrictions that provides an opportunity for additional impacts to be accommodated but, rather, should be treated as a hard-won environmental victory. On this basis, the project should be encouraged to include enhanced initiatives to protect and promote water quality improvements through proper stormwater management. It seems inconsistent that the project would be designed with only the bare minimum stormwater controls.
Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter. We appreciate your consideration of this input and look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
CASHIN SPINELLI & FERRETTI, LLC
John M. Ellsworth
Director of Planning and Environmental Services
cc: Neil Bergin, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Resources Office of the Supervisor
Leonard Genova, Town Attorney