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May 24, 2012

Can state/Forest City cut on-site parking and tweak driving disincentives without amending project documents? Officials said yes, but it looks doubtful

Atlantic Yards Report

Update: I queried the ESD yesterday about the answer below, and Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, responded this morning: "We will post a corrected answer to this question as soon as we can."

At the meeting May 22 on Transportation Demand Management, officials were asked if, given the changes in the plan, notably the offering of only 541 on-site parking spaces instead of the promised 1100 (driven by the inability to use once-planned stackers), revisions were required to project documents.

Several officials said no, but that deserved a lot more explanation, given that the parking change, as well as other changes, clearly depart from previous agreements and disclosures. Then again, changing some of the documents might have meant delays, including potential additional environmental review.

(State officials and developer Forest City Ratner are currently fighting a court ruling that requires a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement to examine the potential for a 25-year project buildout. Shouldn't a smaller parking lot have triggered additional review?)

The documents cited were the 2009 Modified General Project Plan (MGGP), the 2009 Master Development Agreement (MDA), and the 2009 Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments (MEC).

The first was approved by the board of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the state agency overseeing the project, while the other two are contracts between the ESDC and developer Forest City Ratner. Two other documents I've identified also would merit modification.

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NoLandGrab: Ever notice that the Atlantic Yards project has more acronyms than the U.S. military?

Posted by eric at May 24, 2012 10:23 AM