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March 10, 2010

DDDB PRESS RELEASE: A COMPLETE FAILURE OF DEMOCRACY

Atlantic Yards Court Ruling Allows Project to go Forward Despite "Deplorable Lack of Transparency and Candor"

New York, New York—Though she decried the Atlantic Yards process undertaken by the unaccountable, unelected, governor-controlled Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) as exhibiting a "deplorable lack of transparency" and "candor" a Manhattan State Supreme Court judge today ruled that the ESDC minimally complied with the law when it claimed that Bruce Ratner's megaproject would be completed in ten years.

The ruling on the case—which challenged the ESDC's September 2009 approval the Modified General Project Plan—hinged on whether or not there was a rational basis for the ESDC to claim the project would take ten years.

The judge's decision ignores crucial development agreement documents that would prove otherwise, because the ESDC only released those documents after the legal record was closed.

All experts (except for the one paid for by Forest City Ratner) agree that the project will take 20 years at minimum and documentation and agreements show the ESDC expects the project to take at least that long. Even the former ESDC chairwoman, Marisa Lago, said the project would take decades.

"It is a very sad day for this country, and especially New Yorkers, when a court recognizes that a government agency can make a decision that is completely bereft of transparency, defies the facts, is devoid of common sense and ignores the will of the people and yet the court claims it is powerless to do anything about it," said Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn legal director Candace Carponter. "When the courts, the legislature and the governor won't hold unelected bureaucrats accountable for acting without reason or transparency, there is literally nowhere for citizens to turn."

"That is the legacy and hallmark of Atlantic Yards—a total failure of democracy."

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and its 19 community group co-plaintiffs are reviewing the ruling and considering an appeal.

Posted by eric at March 10, 2010 5:33 PM