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September 26, 2008

Does AY "exist"? State judge dismisses lawsuit that challenged AY deadline and sought new hearing

Atlantic Yards Report

A lawsuit brought by tenants located in the footprint of the proposed Atlantic Yards project was dismissed by the New York Supreme Court. The Atlantic Yards Report goes into some of the specifics of the decision.

A “smaller” lawsuit involving the Atlantic Yards project has been dismissed by a State Supreme Court justice, who rejected charges by tenants in two AY footprint buildings that that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) is violating a provision of state law that requires disposition of properties within a decade and should hold another hearing because the project has changed considerably.

Attorney George Locker says there will be an appeal:

Locker commented yesterday, “There is an elephant in the room. It is a project that does not exist. Choose to see the elephant, and the legal reasoning follows. Choose to ignore the elephant, and you have Judge Solomon's decision.”

He added, “In a prior but unrelated decision, the Appellate Division ordered ESDC to hold a hearing when the project that it had proposed was changed. Judge Solomon avoided the hearing issue entirely by saying it's the same project. How come Bruce Ratner won't contractually commit to a ten year project, Phase II has no time limit, but Judge Solomon finds there's no evidence it's not the same project?”

“So we will appeal to the Appellate Division, and see whether the Appellate Division chooses to see the elephant in the room. Maybe by then, the Court will have decided that the area is not blighted,” he said, referring to the September 16 argument in the case challenging the AY environmental review. “We will also give the Appellate Division the opportunity to decide whether the project exists at all."

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Posted by steve at September 26, 2008 5:42 AM