US Supreme Court rejects Atlantic Yards petition

By Jovana Rizzo | June 23, 2008 12:04PM

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an eminent domain petition against the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in yet another legal loss for opponents.

The petition would have granted a hearing to 11 property owners and tenants challenging the government’s ability to seize private homes for development.

Besides the 11 plaintiffs, about 30 additional residents and business owners will be affected by property seized for Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development.

Community group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn now plans to take its petition, Goldstein et al. v. Pataki et al., to state court.

“Our claims remain sound,” said lead attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff in a statement. “New York State law, and the state constitution, prohibit the government from taking private homes and businesses simply because a powerful developer demands it. Yet, this is what has happened.”

Last week, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn asked the Public Authorities Control Board to investigate the financing of the project because of its increased cost.

In February, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the eminent domain lawsuit. Just before that decision, a state judge a rejected lawsuit that challenged the state’s environmental review of the project. And the New York State Appellate Division denied an appeal against the state’s use of eminent domain.

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