Newsday opinion piece on Belmont redevelopment public hearing

The Editorial Board by Newsday

March 21, 2018

Originally published in Paving a future at Belmont on March 21, 2018.

Fight over early plans is ill-advised.

It’s not a surprise that any effort to develop the land around Belmont Park would meet with some pushback. But the vehemence of some objections is ridiculous and counter-productive.

After all, it’s been just three months since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York Islanders and their partners won the opportunity to create a new arena for the team, along with retail, a hotel, some open space, and more, at the Belmont site. The state’s environmental review is only at the starting gate. The initial hearings are scheduled for Thursday.

There are important questions that must be answered. The location of a potential electric substation, which may be necessary to meet the area’s power needs, must be changed, as the proposed spot next to a school is a non-starter for public officials. Concerns about construction and, once the project is built, traffic and noise remain. And is the retail best located on the north or south side of Hempstead Turnpike? It’s a question that matters particularly to residents who live to the south, right next to the Belmont land.

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