Panel Rejects Anti-Atlantic Yards Suit; Plaintiffs Will Appeal

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Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's legal challenge to the contentious Atlantic Yards project has been rejected, 3-0, in an Appellate Division panel ruling. According to the New York Law Journal, DDDB contended that officials improperly judged some properties "blighted" so that they could be seized for the project or their owners thus intimidated into selling, and that a favorable environmental impact ruling did not take into account the possibility of terrorist attack. The ruling expresses sympathy with the plaintiffs' claims, but held that they "have relatively little to do with the project's legality and nearly everything to do with its socio-economic and aesthetic desirability outside," and are thus outside the purview of a legal tribunal and should be handled by "the policy-making branches of government."

DDDB says they'll take their case to the Court of Appeals. The full decision will be released Monday is available here. DDDB reveals that the fourth judge of the panel, who concurred without joining the opinion, admitted that in her opinion "the New York Urban Development Corporation Act... is ultimately being used as a tool of the developer to displace and destroy neighborhoods that are 'underutilized.'"

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