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July 30, 2009

At lightly-attended (and sometimes raucous) public hearing, dueling electeds, some déjà vu, and a “sham process for a sham project”

Atlantic Yards Report

No sham here — as per usual, Norman Oder provides the definitive rundown on yesterday's Atlantic Yards festivities.

In the end, the first day of the public hearing on the revised Atlantic Yards plan, though hardly uneventful, was less raucous and more lightly attended than many expected. Many, but hardly all, of the arguments recycled those at the epic public hearing held on 8/23/06.

The key new argument for opponents and critics emerged from information--or, more precisely, the lack thereof--from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and developer Forest City Ratner (FCR).

The absence of a site plan, arena renderings, economic projections, a solid timetable, and a meeting with the cops over security informed a series of arguments, backed by several elected officials, that the approval is premature. They called for either a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement or for the project to be scrapped.

The most telling piece of theater occurred when Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein went up to testify and, before speaking about “a sham process for a sham project,” methodically altered the landscape behind him, placing placards with question marks over the three ESDC-provided panels that offered minimal information about the project as it stands. DDDB had both local elected officials as well as several candidates for two City Council races--in districts near the project site--in its corner.

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Click here for a look at Daniel Goldstein's placards.

Posted by eric at July 30, 2009 10:04 AM