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Judge Rules in Favor of Atlantic Yards Critics

A New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that the Empire State Development Corporation had failed to consider the environmental impact of an extended construction timeline for Atlantic Yards.

The Empire State Development Corporation failed to consider the impact of 25 years of extended construction at , ruled a New York State Supreme Court Judge Tuesday.

In her opinion, Justice Marcy Friedman wrote that the Modified General Project Plan, which says Atlantic Yards developer than was initially approved in 2006, raises "a substantial question as to whether ESDC's continuing use of the 10 year build-out has a rational basis."

The court ordered the ESDC to reconsider its reliance on the 10-year construction plan when assessing the environmental impact of Atlantic Yards.

"[The ruling] vindicates years of concerns expressed by the communities surrounding Atlantic Yards that the State of New York never properly assessed the impacts of this project," said Jo Anne Simon, Democratic Leader of Brooklyn's 52nd District, in a statement.

"The Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan varied so drastically from the plan initially approved by the ESDC in 2006 that it could not escape the notice of the court," said Gib Veconi, a member of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. "The decision today has confirmed that the Empire State Development Corporation must disclose the impacts of the Atlantic Yards project it agreed to, not the one it wishes would be built."

The ruling was made after the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Simon and several other local representatives and civic groups petitioned the court to reargue an earlier court decision that was made in favor of Forest City Ratner and the ESDC, but before the extended construction timeline had been publicly disclosed.

Elizabeth Mitchell, a representative of the ESDC, said they are currently reviewing the ruling, but noted that it does not enjoin construction from taking place on the Atlantic Yards Project.

Viconi said that, until the ESDC responds to the ruling, the petitioners will seek to enjoin "interim" projects. In particular, they will attempt to halt the construction of a parking lot on the block between Dean and Pacific Streets and Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues, which Viconi referred to as "one of the most objectionable aspects of the project."

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