Federal Eminent Domain Lawsuit Rejected

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    Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed the eminent domain lawsuit that opponents of the Atlantic Yards project had seen as their best shot at derailing the current plan. In ruling in Goldstein v. Pataki, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said that even if the benefits of the project (jobs, housing, etc.) fall short of what has been promoted by Ratner and the State, no reasonable juror would have grounds to conclude that the “sole purpose’ of the Project is to confer a private benefit. The judge also ruled that any claim that the condemnations would not benefit the public were baseless. The 13 plaintiffs, a mix of owners and renters, plan to appeal the decision. Speaking afterwards, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Matthew Brinckerhoff, said he thought his clients had a good shot on appeal: “It’s undisputed that no other developer was considered to do this project, that the genesis was Forest City Ratner, that they identified my clients’ properties [for eminent domain], and that the government, broadly speaking, agreed to do exactly what [the developer] asked for.”
    Judge Rejects Main Argument of Effort to Stop AY [NY Times]
    Judge Dismisses Federal ED Lawsuit; Appeal Planned [AY Report]
    Federal Court Ruling Clears AY Obstacle [NY Sun]
    Atlantic Yards suit dismissed [Metro]
    Photo by Flatbush Gardener

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