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July 24, 2006

Eminent sense in Brooklyn domain

The Daily News editorial board makes a weak case for the use of eminent domain for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards proposal, calling Develop Don't Destroy "a group of naysayers" (name calling anyone?) and citing the recent Kelo case (emphasis added):

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that public agencies can invoke eminent domain to purchase land from holdouts and make it available to private developers, provided the project in question follows a preexisting governmental planning process and the public good is served. Atlantic Yards meets both criteria.

The "preexisting planning process" the News cites is the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (ATURA). The News explains:

In 1968, most of the area was so blighted that city planners officially declared it an urban renewal zone, restating that designation as recently as 2004.

It's no surprise that Forest City Ratner consultant Richard Lipsky agrees with the Daily News analysis.

NoLandGrab "Oderizes" the Daily News:
Clearly the Daily News editorial board and Richard Lipsky don't check out AtlanticYardsReport.com. If they had they could have saved themselves from embarrassment when they would have noticed Norman Oder's area map showing ATURA, combined with the footprint of Bruce Ratner's proposal. ATURA is in orange, Bruce Ratner's footprint in blue and the striped area is where the two different plans overlap.

Guess what, most of the remaining private properties DO NOT fall into the ATURA zone. This includes property needed for the arena.

Since the Daily News's city news desk has a better grasp on verifiable facts than the editorial board, maybe the paper can do a story on this important detail that will no doubt figure into the eminent domain legal battle.

While we have the Supreme Court Kelo decision open, keep in mind Justice Kennedy's concurring opinion, which attempts to set limits on eminent domain abuse:

"...a court applying rational-basis review under the Public Use Clause should strike down a taking that, by a clear showing, is intended to favor a particular private party, with only incidental or pretextual public benefits."

The Daily News, NoLandGrab and Richard Lipsky aren't lawyers, so maybe the courts should decide what is "insurmountable" or "frivolous."

Posted by lumi at July 24, 2006 7:22 AM