Deconstruction: Pier clearing begins for ‘Park’

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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.”

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Reader Feedback

al pankin from boro hall says:
this is another waste of time with another useless law suit. it's a good idea to have a steady income to support a public use for the common good of the citizens , an idea long overdue. maybe the losing party should have to pay all the court and litigation costs. this would stop tying up our courts with frivilous litigation.
March 21, 2008, 8:26 am
franklin from cobble hill says:
not a waste of time when you consider how many years it has been that we have been trying to build a park for brooklyn, with recreation long needed. this park plan is little more than a housing project surrounded by some green puffery. a wetlands and tidal pools are hardly the swimming pools and ice rinks that the original park plan had. and the original plan had sufficient funds from publically accessible features like restaurants, events venue, stores, to pay for itself. but pols like the one you work for at boro hall, forgot who they really serve. they now serve the real estate industry and not the people. going to court is all that is left citizens when their politicians abandon them.
April 2, 2008, 1:07 am

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