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Letter: Piazza Project

I take exception to Eric Alexander’s assertion in the Aug. 19 edition of Newsday, that anyone who voiced opposition to the recent Planning Board decision to approve the “Piazza” project is against a vibrant downtown.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

His exact quote:  “I don’t think you’ll ever please the people that don’t want a vibrant downtown.” I would like Mr. Executive Director of Vision Long Island to know that the only people who don’t want a vibrant downtown in Glen Cove are drug dealers and other miscreants – it’s bad for business.

There are many reasons to disapprove of this project; some of them were even stated by members of the Planning Board who voted NO. And some were voiced by members of the board who strangely enough, voted YES. Too tall buildings, no piazza in “The Piazza,” “bait and switch” tactics, the unlikely marketability of many of the units, the developer’s past history, increased traffic, walling off the downtown, etc.

Then there is the “quid pro quo” factor. We know that developers contribute substantial sums to political campaigns, so we question why a project of this magnitude is fast-tracked in a local election year, with little notice to the public so as to minimize public input. It is moving with extraordinary speed to get all approvals in place before the upcoming election. So when Vision Long Island makes ill-informed statements in the press because they support a local project, perhaps Newday should investigate whether Mr. Alexander’s salary is funded primarily through the largesse of developers.  

The Executive Director of Vision Long Island has the luxury of viewing projects such as The Piazza and the Waterfront Redevelopment in Glen Cove through binoculars. We, the taxpayers, must view them with a magnifying glass.

Dave Nieri