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April 21, 2007

Judge denies TRO; demolitions, protest to begin Monday

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Atlantic Yards Report

State Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden yesterday refused to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would have blocked Forest City Ratner (FCR) from continuing demolitions of properties it owns within the Atlantic Yards site before prefliminary injunction can be argued in court on May 3.

That means that demolitions of four properties, which had been scheduled to begin Wednesday but were postponed pending Madden's decision, can proceed on Monday, as will a protest organized by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), which leads the coalition of neighborhood and civic groups challenging the environmental review. The protest will be in front of 191 Flatbush Avenue, between 5th Avenue and Dean Street, at 8 a.m. (At right, three of the four buildings at issue.)
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The community groups argued that, by creating empty lots, it would intimidate the remaining residents of the footprint, including those who are challenging the project in three court cases. The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the main defendant, and FCR argued that the petitioners couldn't demonstrate sufficient harm.
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An Associated Press story on Madden's decision, published by the New York Daily News and Newsday, inaccurately described the petitioners as "a group of property owners and tenants facing eviction," stated that there would be at least 600 subsidized condo units (actually, only 200 would be onsite and that pledge is not memorialized in any state documents), and suggested that a magistrate judge's decision in the federal eminent domain suit is unlikely to be rejected (though U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis seemed willing to revisit the issues).

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Posted by amy at April 21, 2007 11:31 AM