The plan to develop 28.3 acres of open space in Mariner's Harbor has been in the works for about twenty years, but ahead of another community board meeting to discuss the project, there is still pushback from environmental advocates. 

"We don’t want this project to move forward," said Beryl Thurman, Executive Director for the North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island. She has a problem with the site. It includes protected wetlands, which serve as a natural defense against floods.

"We’re trying to understand why anyone would think that building a commercial retail space in a wetlands in a post Irene sandy new York- is a good idea?" she said. She doesn't like the idea of 1,700 trees being removed for the project, and the increased traffic it may cause. 

The site is flanked by South Avenue, Forest Avenue and Goethals Road North. 

It calls for more than eight hundred parking spaces for several retail stores, including a BJ's Wholesale Club.

The development's project manager tells NY1 That it is not building on its wetlands and has worked with various consultants including The Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers to preserve it. This includes removing invasive species and planting more trees. 

A city environmental impact study states, "Overall, the proposed project would not have any significant adverse impacts to natural resources in the area. Enhancing freshwater and tidal wetland adjacent areas may improve water quality and flood protection and storage.​"

It also found no significant changes in air or noise pollution in the neighborhood, although traffic concerns at 11 intersections were highlighted. Construction would take approximately one year- with an open date of 2019 according to city documents.

The developer is seeking amendments to city maps to realign roads. Some of the unbuilt, but mapped roads run through wetlands.

That concerns Thurman. She said city maps shouldn't be changed for private gain. 

 A community board meeting to discuss the de-mapping of streets for the project will be held June 13th at All Saints Church at 7:30pm .