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Three City Council members call for moratorium, but not a commitment to build project

So, did City Council Members Letitia James, Bill de Blasio, and David Yassky all agree, as the Brooklyn Paper reported, that "construction at the Atlantic Yards site must be blocked until developer Bruce Ratner commits — in writing — to building the full state-approved project."

Not quite. The letter to Gov. David Paterson calls for more information to be shared, not a commitment, and notes that signatories have divergent views.

The letter

The letter:
We write to express profound concern regarding recent reports that the residential and office towers in the Atlantic Yards project, including thousands of units of affordable housing, may be indefinitely delayed, while demolitions in anticipation of this construction continue to occur. We urgently request information regarding the revised project plan and timetable, and respectfully ask that you halt demolitions until such information is made available and reviewed by local elected officials.

According to the funding agreement between Forest City Ratner Companies and the Empire State Development Corporation, there is no commitment for the commencement of the construction for Phase II, and we further understand that the timetable for construction of Phase I may be delayed beyond the original estimate. Yet without such commitments, construction is moving forward, causing serious disruption to our communities and potentially leaving them in an empty, blighted state for an unknown number of years to come.
It is imperative that the public be made aware of the anticipated execution dates for the entirety Phase I and Phase II, including all promised units of affordable housing. On behalf of our constituents, we request that you immediately (i) inform the community of any changes to the General Project Plan concerning the plans for building the office and residential towers, and any impact this will have on the number of affordable housing units to be included in the project, (ii) provide the public with a projected timetable for the commencement of construction of Phases I and II, and (iii) immediately cease demolition activity until this information is shared with the public.

We note that the signatories to this letter hold a variety of views on the Atlantic Yards project overall, and may have other concerns beyond the scope of this letter. All of us, however, believe strongly that the requested information should be provided to the public as soon as possible.

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