Rather than attempt to work out environmental concerns at the Atlantic Yards with the surrounding community, Empire State Development is hoping a third round of litigation proves to be the charm. Crain’s reported that the state agency filed a request to appeal a pair of rulings that it illegally approved changes to Forest City Ratner’s plans for the site without a sufficient environmental review.
The Appellate Division of New York last month unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling last July that said the agency failed to live up to its obligation to study the effects 25 years of construction would impart on the neighborhood. The second environmental review was required because in 2009 the agency approved a revised, elongated timeline for Forest City Ratner’s $5 billion development of the site.
It is not yet known how the rulings will affect the project, although it won’t impact the Barclays Center. ESD President Kenneth Adams said the agency was fighting the ruling because it wanted to ensure the community “can receive the benefits of a world class development… as soon as possible.” Forest City officials said they supported the state’s decision.
But opponents, who helped bring the issue to court in the first place, are upset the agency chose to return to court rather than just perform the environmental study. [Crain's]