Atlantic Yards Opponents Make Full-Court Press

Blogger Norman Oder has a rundown of the first court appearance on Tuesday for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s eminent domain lawsuit against Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards. Another piece of the project opponents’ legal strategy emerged: that government’s power to take private property rests with the legislature, not the executive branch. The Atlantic Yards condemnations are being undertaken by the Empire State Development Corporation, which is appointed by the governor.

Oder even catches a moment when the E.S.D.C. lawyer cites a federal appeals court decision to support the idea that judges should not be making eminent domain decisions. But since that case said it was the “legislative” and not “administrative” arm that should be in charge instead, the lawyer had to do some on-the-spot editing.

If the legislature-only principle wins the day, the case will have a huge impact on the way New York state does business.

Meanwhile, City Council Member Letitia James, an Atlantic Yards opponent, met with a Dolan family lobbyist this week, The Brooklyn Papers reports.

- Matthew Schuerman