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Begun, the Belmont Arena Lawsuits Have

They warned the Islanders arena move would face lawsuits, and here we are.

New York Islanders Granted Development In Belmont
“I trust you’ll take care of this, yes?”
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

The Village of Floral Park has done that very Long Island thing of filing suit to stop stuff from happening.

Specifically, the neighbors of Belmont Park — right next to the planned new LIRR station that would serve the race track and a new Islanders arena — have followed through on a threat and “filed papers in court to try to stop work on the Islanders’ Belmont arena project,” according to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, who broke the news.

It is an “Article 78” proceeding, so get used to hearing that a lot.

See Baumbach and Candice Ferrette’s story at Newsday here, detailing the complaints in a suit filed yesterday. Island Now also has details and a categorical response from Empire State Development.

Among them:

  • There are three defendants: Empire State Development, the Franchise Oversight Board, and New York Arena Partners (the developers who are partnered with/include the Islanders ownership group).
  • Essentially, the Village is accusing ESD of violating state law by engaging a RFP and environmental review process with a predetermined outcome. Which, I mean, well...
  • They want the current construction work stopped, the environmental review restarted, and current approvals annulled.

Newsday and Island Now also refer to a letter from Mayor Dominick [sic*] Longobardi to residents:

“The Village was compelled to take this step because ESD failed to address the concerns of our residents and failed to mitigate the very real negative consequences to our Village that will result from the massive size and scope of the Project.”

*I know, I know, it’s correct. Just a name joke. Because me.

Perhaps the Island Now piece had the best, lovely summation of grievances:

Concerns have been raised by the village over the project’s impact on traffic, the constant influx of commuters coming into Floral Park for Islander games, Floral Park becoming a “soft target” for terrorism, propane cylinders being installed for the project and the location of a new LIRR station at the north parking lot of Belmont Park to support the project.

Will it work? The power of Large Political and Financial Clout behind the arena development would suggest no, but you never know with these things. In the meantime, work continues.

Update 1: County exec Laura Curran has weight in as well:

Update 2: Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade!