“Under SEQRA law, that’s called segmentation, and it’s not permitted,” Ledwith said, referring to the State Environmental Quality Review Act. “If you’re going to demolish, you must also inform the municipality what you intend to do with the property because that all goes into the environmental considerations the board must take.”
Resident Paul Tubin, who lives across the street from the property, has for months voiced his disapproval of tearing down the homes and replacing them with a parking lot. “We were clear from the outset that we had several reasons for opposing the project,” Tubin said of his neighbors. “The two most important being the encroachment of commercial zoning into a residential area, which we strongly believe would have had a deleterious impact on our quality of life — changing the view from our homes of … two lovely and well-kept homes on Merton Avenue and replacing that with a view of a parking lot with an accompanying unhampered view of a multi-story hotel” — the Rockville Inn, which is also owned by Morash.
According to Ledwith, the environmental impact study would take approximately two months to complete, and the board could decide to hold a public hearing on the issue.
“We’re only looking to do good for the community,” Morash said. “We’re not looking to be bad neighbors.”