On Monday evening, March 30, Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and members of the Glen Cove City Council held a public hearing to garner community input on the Master Plan and the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement as part of the Glen Cove Master Plan process. The city council is the lead agency under the State Environmental Review Act (SEQRA), and is responsible for the environmental review of the document, and ultimately its adoption.
"I welcome feedback and suggestions from the community as we move one small step closer to achieving adoption of a new Glen Cove Master Plan that will guide our efforts to shape a vibrant and growing city for years to come," said Mayor Suozzi. "I thank the many residents of Glen Cove and others who have been so generous with their time and energy to bring you, what I believe, is an exceptional draft plan for your consideration - whose concepts are already being replicated throughout Long Island. I would like to stress that the Master Plan is still a draft, and will likely evolve in response to the community's input."
Mayor Suozzi continued: "Already with this draft, we are envisioning Glen Cove's future - as a community with a consistent character, contemplating and pursuing thoughtful, planned development and revitalization while avoiding the perils of haphazard sprawl."
In welcoming public comment and input, the mayor told those in attendance that each and every comment must and will be responded to specifically in writing in a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement, before moving forward with the Master Plan.
The public comment period remains open until the end of business on April 13 for submitting any and all written comments on the Master Plan.
The Generic Environmental Impact Statement is a broad document, which addresses general environmental impacts. As an expansive overview of environmental impacts, it is not meant to analyze or evaluate site-specific impacts of particular projects, which may fall under the guidelines of the Master Plan. Those projects must undergo their own environmental review under SEQRA as part of the planning process, which would include, among other impacts, traffic, pollution, socio-economic conditions and more, according to the mayor.
The public hearing included presentations by Michael Zarin, Glen Cove's special land use counsel, and John Shapiro, Glen Cove's consultant who has spearheaded the effort in working with the Master Plan Committee and the city in the preparation of the Draft Master Plan.
Upon taking office in 2006, Mayor Suozzi launched what he calls a comprehensive planning effort which will culminate in the first Master Plan update in over 50 years, which he hopes will place Glen Cove at the forefront of land-use innovation on Long Island, including conservation districts, design guidelines, green principles, incentive zoning, and open space preservation.
"This means a targeted expansion of the local tax base and recognition of the benefits of corridor, downtown, waterfront, transit and civic projects that promote Glen Cove as a first-rate community in which to live and work," he stated.
This public hearing is part of what is supposed to be an open and inclusive process of community participation in developing the Master Plan, which has also included stakeholder interviews and focus groups, an advisory task force reflecting a broad cross section of the community, five public workshops on a variety of planning and visioning topics, a resident survey, and an interactive Master Plan website.