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Acronym Guide:
FCR
- Forest City Ratner

ESDC - Empire State Development Corporation
(Chairma Charles Gargano)

PACB - Public Authorities Control Board (Silver, Bruno, Pataki)

IBO - Independent Budget Office

NYCEDC - New York City Economic Development Corporation

SEQRA - State Environmental Qualitry Review Act

DEIS
- Draft Environmental Impact Statement

EIS
- Environmental Impact Statement

ULURP - Uniform Land Use Review Procedure


WHAT'S PENDING as of June 13, 2007:
Complete, comprehensive coverage of the May 3rd court hearing in the Manhattan State Supreme Court in front of Justice Joan Maden, can be found at the Atlantic Yards Report: ESDC grilled over blight, “civic project” in EIS lawsuit hearing, but judge’s latitude may be limited.

After the nearly 4-hour hearing for DDDB et. al. v. ESDC et. al., a suit which seeks to annul the environmental review and approval of "Atlantic Yards," Justice Madden said she would try to have a decision within 4 to 6 weeks.Today, June 13, is 6 weeks, so a decision could come any day.

On June 6th Eastern District Justice Nicholas Garaufis issued a decision on the defendants' motion to dismiss the federal eminent domain lawsuit Goldstein v. Pataki. While Judge Garaufis rejected the defendants' three motions attempting to push the case out of federal court and into state court, he decided to dimiss the case for plaintiffs' failure to state a claim. We stronlgy believe that the Court erred in its decision and there will be an appeal on the decision brought to the 2nd Circutin Court. We are cautiously optimistic that the plaintiffs can win their appeal and move on to a trial to show how the use of eminent domain for Altnatic Yards violates the US Constituion. Our view on the decision and the appeal can be found in our e-newsletter from June 7th, 2007.

Atlantic Yards Report covered the decision, Judge dismisses federal eminent domain lawsuit; appeal planned, as did the NY Times and the New York Law Journal


WHAT'S PENDING as of May 7, 2007:
Complete, comprehensive coverage of the May 3rd court hearing in the Manhattan State Supreme Court in front of Justice Joan Maden, can be found at the Atlantic Yards Report: ESDC grilled over blight, “civic project” in EIS lawsuit hearing, but judge’s latitude may be limited.

After the nearly 4-hour hearing for DDDB et. al. v. ESDC et. al., a suit which seeks to annul the environmental review and approval of "Atlantic Yards," Justice Madden said she would try to have a decision within 4 to 6 weeks.

Simultaneously a decision on the defendants' motion to dismiss the federal eminent domain lawsuit Goldstein v. Pataki,can come any day from Eastern District Justice Nicholas Garaufis. The most recent inforamtion regarding that case is also found at Atlantic Yards Report: Another look at the eminent domain hearing: signs point both ways


Thursday, May 3rd. 3:30pm
Oral Argument in Manhattan State Supreme Court on the environmental lawsuit
DDDB et. al. v. ESDC et. al.

60 Centre Street, Room 351
Justice Joan Madden

WHAT'S PENDING as of April 5, 2007:

On April 5 DDDB and 25 co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court seeking to annul the Environmental Review and approval of the "Atlantic Yards" project. The named defendants are the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and Forest City Ratner. A summary of the lawsuit's causes of actions are here.

Success in the suit would send "Atlantic Yards" back to the ESDC for a complete or partial new environmental review and a new vote by the PACB. But this time, all of that would occur under the reform-minded Spitzer Administration.

Oral arguments in the Manhattan State Supreme Court House are scheduled for May 3rd at 3:30 pm.

WHAT'S PENDING as of January 1, 2007:
On December 20th the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) voted to approve the "Atlantic Yards" project, just 11 days before Governor Pataki left office and despite an incredible dearth of pertinent and crucial financial information, housing guarantees, and many unanswered questions.

This means that the project has passed its one and only political vote by three-men-in-a-room.

Big questions remain:
  1. Will Governor Spitzer and his Administration weigh in?

  2. There is a pending federal eminent domain lawsuit, and the project cannot be built if the property owners and tenants win their suit. Oral arguments for that lawsuit are scheduled for February 7th in the Eastern District. Legal briefs can be found here.

  3. A legal challenge to the Environmental Impact Statement could come any day.


WHAT'S PENDING as of December 8, 2006:
The ESDC approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and its findings, the findings and determinations under the state's Eminent Domain Procedure Law (approving its use), and a modified General Project Plan. All of those documents can be found here: www.empire.state.ny.us/atlanticYards.

Next up vote, which must be unanimous, by the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB), which is controlled by the Governor, the Assembly Speaker Silver, and the Senat Majority Leader Bruno. That vote could occur on December 20th.

Lawsuits are expected on the FEIS. There is currently a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the use of eminent domain for Atlantic Yards. That case, filed on October 26th, is in the Eastern District.

WHAT'S PENDING as of November 15, 2006:
The Finale Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was released by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) on November 15, 2006. The very large document can be found here: www.empire.state.ny.us/AtlanticYards/FEIS.asp

The ESDC is supposed to respond to every comment made by the public. Chapter 24 includes those commetns and responses: click here to download the pdf of Chapter 24.

The ESDC now has a minimum of ten days to approve the findings of the FEIS. That vote is expected sometime around November 28th. The ESDC will then pass the project along to the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB). The PACB vote-controlled by Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate majority Leader Bruno, and the Governor-requires unanimity for passage.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn intends to go to court to challenge the grossly deficient FEIS.


Completed:
WHAT'S PENDING as of September 29, 2006:
The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has ended.

Enormous amounts of comments were submitted to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) by scores of organizations and hundreds of individuals. Click here for links to some of these comment submissions.

Now the ESDC must review all these comments and respond to them in a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

That FEIS could legally come out as soon as October 9, 2006, but with the amount of responses submitted to ESDC that is highly unlikely. Though ESDC is clearly trying to fast-track their approval we expect that the FEIS will not be released until late October or November. But it is a sign of the continuing non-public, and non-transparent process that the public does not even receive basic information like a timeline.

Once the FEIS is released the ESDC Board will then vote to approve it which is expected to be a rubberstamp. This would include approval of eminent domain.

Then the Public Authorties Control Board (PACB)-comprised of Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Majority Leader Bruno and the Governor will have to vote on the project.

As all of this is going on, lawsuits from the public are expected.

COMPLETED as of September 29, 2006:

Next hearings scheduled on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS):

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 4:30 pm - 8 pm
at the New York City College of Technology (Klitgord Auditorium)
285 Jay Street, Brooklyn
We are urging people not to attend the 9/12 hearing. Here is why

Monday, September 18, 2006 - 4:30 pm - 8 pm
at the New York City College of Technology (Klitgord Auditorium)
285 Jay Street, Brooklyn

COMMENTS TO THE ESDC MUST BE SUBMITTED BY:
Written comments must be RECEIVED by the ESDC no later than 5:30 PM, Friday, September 22, 2006. Send your comments (delivery receipt and signature requested) to:

Atlantic Yards c/o ESDC
Empire State Develpment Corporation
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Email your comments (delivery receipt option selected) to:
[email protected]

**PLEASE NOTE:
Please Email a copy of your DEIS submissions to:
[email protected].
Hard copy to:
Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods
201 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205.



THERE WAS A PUBLIC HEARING
FOR COMMENT ON THE DEIS ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23RD
Click here for some of the testimony submitted at the hearing.



JULY 18, 2006
The ESDC has authorized the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the General Project Plan (GPP)

• Download the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
• Download the General Project Plan (GPP)


MAY 16, 2006
As of today, given the recent release of the Final Scope, we're waiting for a Draft Environmental Impact (EIS) statement to be issued in late May or early June by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), which is supervising the project.

After that, there will be a time period--a few months, or possibly longer--for a hearing and for comments in response to the draft EIS, its flaws, and regarding mitigation of the potential impacts. A few months later, a Final Environmental Impact Statement will announce such mitigation or where the developer and agency conclude that no mitigation is possible. The EIS can more likely be challenged in court on the grounds of process rather than content.

The final EIS must be approved by the ESDC, and the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) must also approve the project. The PACB is controlled by Gov. George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver killed the proposed West Side Stadium, and the New York Observer reported that he would follow the lead of the local elected member of Assembly, Roger Green, who supports the plan. Given that the Assembly has already approved $33 million for the project, would the election of Atlantic Yards opponent Bill Batson to succeed Green (who's running for Congress) change the equation at the PACB? Unclear.

Also, given that Forest City Ratner has not and likely will not acquire all the residential and commercial property it needs to commence the project, the ESDC will move to take the property via eminent domain. A lawsuit challenging the use of eminent domain is not unlikely.

Also pending is a challenge to the ESDC's use of a lawyer who had just been working for the developer. However, the agency has hired a replacement so as not to delay the approval process.

Bruce Ratner has said he expects construction to begin in the fall--but legal challenges, as well as challenges to the environmental review process, might well delay that.

From the Final Scope

The ESDC's Final Scope of Analysis, a prelude to the Draft EIS, lays out the following actions:
At this time, it is expected that the proposed project will require the following actions:
--Adoption of the GPP [General Project Plan] by ESDC, including overrides of certain local laws (described below);
--Override by ESDC of certain aspects of the New York City Zoning Resolution, including, but not limited to, use and bulk (including height and setback, floor area, and yards), signage, and parking requirements and allowances;
--Override by ESDC of the ATURA [Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area] Plan as it relates to Site 5 and Site 6A (which requires consistency with zoning);
--Override of the City Map as it relates to Pacific Street between Flatbush and 6th Avenues, 5th Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, and Pacific Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues;
--Acquisition of property by ESDC through negotiation or condemnation and subsequent disposition of the property (by sale or long-term lease) to the project sponsors or local development corporation;
--Approval by the Public Authorities Control Board;
--Disposition by MTA of a property interest in the rail yard to ESDC, project sponsors, or a local development corporation;
--Approval by MTA of relocated and upgraded rail yard and other transit improvements, and any related real property acquisitions by LIRR or MTA;
--Provision of state and city funding for affordable housing and other elements of the proposed project and tax exempt financing;
--Condemnation by ESDC of the Citys interest in Pacific Street and 5th Avenue (as described above); and
--Condemnation or acquisition by ESDC or disposition by the City of the Citys interest in Site 5 and other City-owned property within the project site.