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August 22, 2006

Blogs weigh in on RPA weigh-in

The Real Estate Observer, RPA: Atlantic Yards Warm-up

Regional Plan Association, which staunchly opposed the West Side Stadium last year, is taking a milder position on the Atlantic Yards proposal in Brooklyn. In a statement issued today (in preparation for tomorrow's public hearing), the planning group ominously predicts that "without sufficient investments from the public sector, the accumulated development in downtown Brooklyn will lead to unbearable congestion."

Atlantic Yards Report, RPA offers more criticism than praise for AY, but says it's too late to go back

On the eve of the public hearing on the Atlantic Yards Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the influental Regional Plan Association (RPA), despite expressing significant and trenchant criticisms, essentially endorsed Forest City Ratner’s project. RPA asserted that "it would not be in the public interest to start from scratch," adding that, "Within reason, this 'Manhattan-ization' that is proposed for Downtown Brooklyn is part of an ongoing and necessary process."

So apparently a growth process, however initiated, trumps a public process that the RPA rightly sees as inadequate. That’s the essence of a detailed but, at times, convoluted position paper that has been distilled into a none-too-short press release, headlined "RPA Supports Atlantic Yards' Arena Block, Wants Changes in Second Phase of Development."

Norman Oder analyzes the RPA's arguments and finds some factual errors and a several relevant issues that the RPA completely ignores, for instance:

How dense is too dense? RPA seems to be endorsing FCR’s inalienable right to build as big as it wants--right now, the densest development in the country by a factor of two. Nor does RPA assess whether the open space for the project would be sufficient for the new population, despite overwhelming evidence that it wouldn't be.

Posted by lumi at August 22, 2006 10:24 PM