BrooklynSpeaks goes back to court seeking reversal of 2009 MGPP, stay of Atlantic Yards construction

Date/time: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 2:30PM
Location: NY Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street, Room 335 (Manhattan)
Contact: Linda Gross, LCG Communications – 718.853.5568; 917.767.1141

On Tuesday, March 15 at 2:30PM, NYS Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman will hear arguments on a petition by BrooklynSpeaks sponsors, local elected officials, and neighborhood residents seeking to reverse the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) approval of the Atlantic Yards 2009 Modified General Project Plan (MGPP). Justice Friedman’s courtroom is located at 60 Centre Street, room 335.

On November 9, 2010, Justice Friedman ruled in favor of the BrooklynSpeaks petitioners, ordering the ESDC to explain its rationale for continuing to rely on its 2006 environmental impact statement (EIS) when it approved changes to Atlantic Yards in 2009 allowing construction to continue for 25 years or more. The 2006 EIS analyzed only the impacts of 10 years of construction.

In December 2010, the ESDC responded to the court with findings acknowledging that Atlantic Yards would not be completed in 10 years. The ESDC nevertheless claimed it believed a 10-year buildout would be possible when it approved the 2009 MGPP, even though a former CEO had stated publicly the project would take “decades,” and the agency was at the time negotiating a development agreement allowing Forest City Ratner 25 years or longer to complete construction. The ESDC’s findings also stated that the communities surrounding Atlantic Yards would suffer no additional impacts by extending the construction period by 15 years.

In January 2011, the BrooklynSpeaks sponsors filed a supplemental petition challenging these findings as not sufficient to show a rational basis for the agency’s refusal to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) prior to the approval of the 2009 MGPP. The BrooklynSpeaks petitioners have asked that the court reverse the approval and stay further construction at Atlantic Yards until an SEIS is completed.