In 2009, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and several other civic and community-based organizations filed suit against the New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Forest City Ratner Companies for their decision to allow the completion of the Atlantic Yards project to be delayed from 10 to 25 years. A State Supreme Court ruled in July 2011 that ESDC’s failure to study the effects of the 15-year delay on surrounding communities violated State environmental law.
Now, four and a half years after its illegal approval of the delayed project schedule, ESDC has issued a draft environmental report that claims an additional 15 years of construction won’t be a big deal for our community. The community asked that the State consider bringing in other developers to speed up the project. Can’t be done, it said.
But local residents haven’t forgotten the disruptions they suffered during construction of the Barclays Center arena—disruptions that were supposed to be relieved through environmental commitments by Forest City that ESDC failed to enforce. And we all know that neighbors in danger of being displaced through rising rents can’t wait 25 years for Atlantic Yards to make good on its commitment to provide 2,250 affordable apartments.
ESDC will hold a public hearing on Wednesday April 30, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Long Island University, 75 DeKalb Avenue, Room HS107.Atlantic Yards is the only large State project where decisions are made by a board of political appointees with no local members. It’s time to use this opportunity to tell Governor Cuomo how you feel about giving Forest City Ratner the exclusive right to hold 22 acres of our community hostage for 25 years with no accountability to the public. Join us!Make your voice heard for accountability, transparency and community input in this massive development!