Atlantic Yards Court Hearing Centers on Blight

  

It was a packed house last night in State Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden's courtroom, site of the first oral arguments in the Atlantic Yards environmental-review lawsuit.

"It was a long hearing," Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesman Daniel Goldstein told The Observer on Friday. "I am not going to say much about how things went, but it was long."

According to Norman Oder's Atlantic Yards Report, both sides spoke to the two main issues in the suit that DDDB and a number of other groups brought against the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC): the state's finding of blight at the development’s proposed site and whether the basketball arena planned for the site qualifies as a "civic project" under state law.

"A lot of the hearing was spent on blight, which is a significant issue," Mr. Goldstein said.

Mr. Oder's comprehensive report of the arguments applauded Ms. Madden's knowledge of the case. He also noted that if the suit is successful, "[it] would force the ESDC to revise and reissue the environmental impact statement causing, at the least, a delay in the project."