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January 19, 2008

TRO denied regarding environmental lawsuit; will appeal be expedited?

Atlantic Yards Report

In an unsurprising decision, a state appellate judge yesterday denied a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the closure of the Carlton Avenue Bridge sought by the petitioners in the lawsuit challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental review. As part of the appeal of Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden's January 11 decision, the petitioners have asked for a TRO and preliminary injunction to block this "permanent change in the environment of Brooklyn including significant impacts on traffic and significant delays for Fire Department emergency responders."

Should work begin, and petitioners ultimately succeed with their appeal, it's possible that there won't be a working bridge nor adequate funding to reconstruct it, argued petitioners' attorney Jeffrey Baker. Forest City Ratner has argued in the past that any delay increases the cost of the project and delays the expected benefits.

Associate Justice Angela M. Mazzarelli the Appellate Division, First Department, denied the request, pending a hearing on a motion for an injunction to block the project from moving forward without a final decision on the lawsuit, according to Candace Carponter, legal chair of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. The burden was high, since the petitioners must argue irreparable injury and the likelihood of prevailing on the merits.

"The only way to preserve our rights is to file these motions," she said.

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Posted by amy at January 19, 2008 11:59 AM