Saturday, February 2, 2008

Atlantic Yards update

The Atlantic Yards project is one step closer to happening. The Second Circuit ruled yesterday in Goldstein v. Pataki that the project's use of eminent domain does not violate the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs, who all own property in the project's footprint, had basically argued that the development was never meant to benefit the public, but that it had been orchestrated by the developer, Bruce Ratner, from the beginning and that the government had simply fallen in line. The court rejected this, though, holding that there were public purposes, like creating open space, building a stadium and affordable housing and improving the transit system. Since there were public purposes, the plaintiffs' contentions amounted to "concerns about the wisdom of the Atlantic Yards project and its effect on the community." And those sorts of concerns are not within the purview of the courts.

The plaintiffs are planning to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

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