Forest City Ratner, their consultants AKRF
and Philip Habib, and the
have had at least two years to compile their 2,000 page Draft Environmental
Impact Statement (DEIS). If built, the developer's proposal would not be completed
until at least 2016. Yet the state agency and the developer are playing rush,
rush, rush with the communities of Brooklyn.
They released the DEIS on July 18th and are holding the only public hearing
on the 15 inch thick document 36 days later. The second thingee, which they
are calling a "community forum" (we don't know what that is but it
is telling that they don't call it a hearing), is scheduled to be held
on September 12th, which happens to also be primary election day which includes
heated races in districts encompassing the proposed development site. (Is it
not enough they have bypassed our elected officials, now they have to schedule
an important meeting on primary day, further subverting all sense of fairness
and democracy? With 365 days in a year, why exactly did they choose primary
This rush, rush, rush process for the largest single-source development proposal
in the history of New York City and what would be the densest census tract in
the country (two
times as dense!) is unacceptable–so unacceptable that even project
supporters like Assemblymember Roger Green and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
can see how irresponsible it is and have called for a longer review period.
But Borough President Marty Markowitz sees no problem with it. He thinks its
fair. And Brooklyn's "biggest cheerleader" is abetting the rush, rush,
rush for what ESDC Chairman has called the "Manhattanization" of Brooklyn,
or more precisely, "We are a city of skyscrapers. We are a city of towers."
Marty, for the people who put you in office, for the Borough you love, please
give us a fair shake and join Mr. Green, Mr. Spitzer and the others in calling
for a reasonable review timetable. And all political leaders, we ask for you
to tell the ESDC that it is truly unacceptable to hold a public forum for this
enormous proposal on primary election day.
the ESDC to extend the review period to at least 90 days.
Tell Borough President Marty Markowitz the same, at:
Brooklyn Downtown Star
Spitzer Reaches For Pataki's Shovel? By Norman Oder
...On July 28, Spitzer, the odds-on pick to be New York's next governor,
said that August 23 was too soon for a hearing on the massive DEIS, and that
an extension of "at least 30 days is indispensable." His letter to
ESDC Chairman Charles Gargano, released on campaign letterhead rather than from
his state office, was hailed by four local elected officials who represent constituents
living in and around the project's proposed footprint.
"It is imperative that enough time be allowed in the process for the public
to review and respond to the DEIS," said Councilwoman Letitia James in
a press release. Assembly Members Joan Millman, Jim Brennan, and Roger Green
also praised Spitzer and called for a delay. Green's participation was notable,
since he represents the assembly district where the Atlantic Yards is located,
and he supports the project...
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, a strong supporter of the
Atlantic Yards plan, defended the ESDC's timetable: "Extending the public-comment
period to 66 days - more than double the required 30 for a DEIS - and holding
two open public sessions, including one in September, instead of the required
one," he reasoned, "represents a fair attempt by ESDC to address the concerns
of some in the community regarding a summer hearing."