Saturday, October 17, 2009

DDDB: new lawsuit challenging Atlantic Yards environmental review will be filed on Monday

Leading off the fifth annual Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) walkathon today, DDDB spokesman Daniel Goldstein revealed that, on Monday, "there will be one more lawsuit filed against the Atlantic Yards project by 19 community organizations," including DDDB.

Though details are not yet available, DDDB last month threatened to file a suit regarding the failure of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to issue a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in response to changes in the project.

DDDB put most of its fundraising into legal battles. "Suffice it to say that the fundraising you've been doing all these years is going toward some very specific purposes and being well-utilized," Goldstein said.


(Videography by Jonathan Barkey)

Other lawsuits

DDDB, along with the Straphangers Campaign and four elected officials, last week sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for violating the Public Authorities Accountability Act in renegotiating the Vanderbilt Yard deal with Forest City Ratner.

On Wednesday, a DDDB-funded and -organized lawsuit challenging the use of eminent domain for Atlantic Yards was heard in the Court of Appeals in Albany.

"It went extremely well for the plaintiffs, for the community," Goldstein told the 160 or so people gathered today. Given that the judges were skeptical of both sides, I think he was playing to the crowd.

A separate lawsuit on environmental issues, notably traffic, will be filed by the BrooklynSpeaks coalition. It's likely that only the eminent domain lawsuit can formally stop the project, though the other litigation may throw other wrenches into it, such as making it more difficult to sell bonds for the arena.

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