Saturday, October 28, 2006

City Planning, April 2005: "Public input on the Brooklyn stadium has not started yet"

As late as April 22, 2005, nearly a year and a half after the Atlantic Yards project was announced, a city official acknowledged that there had been no public input. The issue came up during the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter’s 2005 Annual Conference.

According to the proceedings, Richard Barth, Executive Director, New York City Department of Planning was on a panel titled "New York Area Mega-Projects: Prospects & Priorities." He was asked:
Many of the mega-projects, such as the Brooklyn arena and the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning do not appropriately consider scale, neighborhood appropriateness, integration to surrounding communities, and other quality of life issues. Why?

His response, at least regarding Atlantic Yards: Public input on the Brooklyn stadium has not started yet.

This is a summary, not a transcript. And it's not clear that public input is the same as public planning--a requirement for the use of eminent domain, according to the Kelo decision.

And, yes, the public process, such as it is, managed by the Empire State Development Corporation, to gather public comments on the project's environmental impact had not begun. But it is interesting that the many meetings that developer Forest City Ratner has touted did not qualify, in the mind of a city official, as "public input."

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