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July 10, 2011

Waiting for Friedman: four months after oral arguments, decision in last Atlantic Yards legal case yet to emerge

Atlantic Yards Report

Nearly four months later, we're waiting for a ruling in the last extant Atlantic Yards legal case.

On 3/15/11, state Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman heard oral arguments in the case challenging the offical Atlantic Yards timetable.

Lawyers from two community coalitions challenged the legitimacy of the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) response to a court order requiring it to explain why it didn't need issue a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement to study the impact of a potential 25-year buildout.

The ESDC made that response only because Friedman reopened a case she'd already dismissed.

Court activity often slows in the summer. If we don't see Friedman's ruling soon, we may not see it until September.

Should Friedman rule for the plaintiffs--coalitions and individuals (including elected officials) organized by BrooklynSpeaks, and groups organized by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn--the ESDC could be forced to look in great detail at the community impacts of 25 years of construction compared to ten years.

And that could lead to changes in the design or organization of the project--at least (or especially) for the part beyond the arena block.

Flashback: Waiting for Madden

I wrote 12/23/07 about how the challenge to the environmental impact statement was heard on May 3, and state Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden indicated she would try to rule promptly. In mid-July, Madden issued a memo (the first "Waiting for Madden") that stated she expected to have a decision in September 2007.

Madden finally ruled in January, eight months after the hearing.

The Daily News recently condemned her for sitting on a ruling for more than five months, thus allowing a homeless shelter being challenged to be built.

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Posted by steve at July 10, 2011 5:45 PM