Demolition began — for real, this time — at the proposed “Brooklyn Bridge Park” last week, even as opponents went to court to battle the housing and open space development.
The demolition began last Thursday on Pier 1, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, without any fanfare — a surprise, considering there have been two “groundbreakings” since 2001 even though the 85-acre parkland, condo and retail development along the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights waterfront never got underway.
Three days after the cranes started their work, state officials faced the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund in an appellate court to argue that the inclusion of private housing in the “park” is illegal and that the project’s environmental impact statement was flawed because it inadequately analyzed traffic impact from the Atlantic Yards development.
The Defense Fund is appealing a November, 2006 ruling that dismissed both those arguments.
“While this court is sympathetic to petitioner’s position … this is a disagreement of philosophy, not law,” wrote State Supreme Court Judge Lawrence Knipel. Referring to the state’s contention that the housing is necessary to fund maintenance of the park, Knipel added that the government’s “determination that the Brooklyn Bridge Park should be established, but not supported at the public’s expense, may be philosophically regrettable, but is certainly not unreasonable or unlawful.”
After 30 minutes of arguments before the appellate panel, members of the Defense Fund left court feeling optimistic.
“I’m hopeful. I thought the arguments went well,” said Murray Adams. “[The judges] knew exactly what they were looking for. We really did get a day in court.”
©2008 Community News Group
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