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December 22, 2010

No stay on construction, as petitioners in timetable case agree to withdraw motion in light of ESDC's report; will file new motion next month

Atlantic Yards Report

There will be no stay on Atlantic Yards construction for now and, given the momentum of time, the bar grows higher.

Two community coalitions sought a stay on some if not all Atlantic Yards construction because of the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) failure to analyze the impact of a 25-year construction schedule.

But last week, the ESDC issued findings that no Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is necessary and, while petitioners Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and BrooklynSpeaks consider that analysis vastly inadequate, it was too soon to argue that in court.

So, in a very brief hearing today before state Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman in New York County Supreme Court, the parties--the petitioners as well as the defendants, the ESDC and Forest City Ratner--agreed that the request for a stay would be withdrawn.

"They acted last week," BrooklynSpeaks attorney Al Butzel said of the ESDC decision, "and there's a presumption [on the part of the court] that they acted legitimately, which changed the balance." BrooklynSpeaks and DDDB disagree and will argue that next month.

Next phases

As part of the stipulation, the petitioners have until January 18 to file a supplementary petition arguing that the ESDC's analysis is inadequate--and to bring another request for an injunction. The could lead to another oral argument in the case in February.

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Park Slope Patch, Atlantic Yards Construction To Continue

Construction at Atlantic Yards will be allowed to continue after a deal was struck in court today by both sides of a lawsuit challenging development of the 22-acre Prospect Heights plot.

Calling it a "legal reality," representatives for the petitioners withdrew a motion to stop construction, but they continued to criticize how the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency overseeing development, has handled the process.

"My view is the ESDC is responding in a way that misses the major concern, which is how 25 years of construction will affect people living in the neighborhood." said Al Butzel, attorney for BrooklynSpeaks, one of the community groups that is petitioning the development.

Posted by eric at December 22, 2010 10:27 PM