The three community boards that converge where Bruce Ratner wants to build Atlantic Yards are mad as hell at being cut out of the public review process of the largest development in Brooklyn history — and they’re going to host a public hearing about it.
Because Atlantic Yards is being overseen by the state, rather than the city, local boards have lost their traditional, though only advisory, role in the public review process.
But Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 — which cover Fort Greene, Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights — are fighting back, inviting the public to their own public hearings on Aug. 3.
The boards’ joint announcement couched its anger in bureaucratic language, but the implication is clear: the Empire State Development Corporation, which issued the 2,000-page, Atlantic Yards environmental impact statement last week, is trying to limit the public’s chance to comment.
“Despite repeated requests of all agencies and officials having some jurisdiction over this project, the community boards have been denied resources that would have been used to help enhance the public’s understanding of the document,” the statement said.
“We cannot and will not shirk our public mandate. Regrettably, we are forced to respond reactively to a timetable laid out before us.”
Or, as one community board insider put it, “The public has been crying out to be heard.”
The simultaneous public hearings will take place from 6–8 pm on Thursday, Aug. 3 at Long Island University’s Health Sciences Center, Room 119, at DeKalb and Hudson avenues; at Long Island College Hospital’s conference room F/G, at 339 Hicks St., at Atlantic Avenue; and at the Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, 520 Prospect Pl., enter on Classon Avenue.
If that’s not enough screaming and yelling for you, the state’s official public hearing on the Atlantic Yards Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be on Wed., Aug. 23 at 4:30 at New York City Technical College, 285 Jay St. between Johnson and Tillary streets.
In advance of the sure-to-be-packed meeting, the Empire State Development Corporation is encouraging the public to pick apart the DEIS (which can be viewed, with some difficulty, at http://www.empire.state.ny.us/AtlanticYards/DEIS.asp).
©2006 Community News Group
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