Atlantic Yards Hearing Set for… When You’re Out of Town

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The view up Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, looking northward. Before Frank Gehry and After. Renderings by Jonathan Cohn, BrooklynViews

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Forest City Ratner’s "Atlantic Yards" project in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn was released today. It can be found here on the Empire State Development Corporation’s web site.

The release of this detailed, 15-inch thick document starts the sixty-day clock running on the public input process. The Public Hearing on the DEIS has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at New York City Technical College (Klitgord Auditorium), 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn.

Since this project is circumventing New York City Council and public processes, this hearing may very well be the only opportunity for the public to have a voice on this $4.2 billion, 22-acre development proposal that includes a 19,000-seat arena and 17 high rise buildings.

You may note that the ESDC has scheduled the public hearing for the absolute deadest, dog days of summer. Not surprisingly, Candace Carponter at Develop — Don’t Destroy Brooklyn has something to say about that:

"Releasing this hugely important document and holding a hearing in the heat of summer when community experts and residents are preoccupied with family obligations, vacations, and child care is another sign of this public agency’s complete disregard for the public it is supposed to serve. There is simply no reason that the ESDC could not have waited a few weeks to release the DEIS for public review-by both project supporters and opponents- to afford the affected communities a meaningful opportunity to respond."

The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods is holding three "DEIS Handbook" workshops to help members of the public understand and participate in the limited public input process.

Tuesday, July 18, 7 pm, Park Slope Methodist Church, 493 8th Street at 6th Avenue.
Thursday, July 20, 7 pm, St. Francis College, Callahan Center, 182 Remsen Street.
Tuesday, July 25, 7 pm, Duryea Presbyterian Church, 362 Sterling Place.

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