Abuse of process. That’s the accusation of the New York Daily News against the property owners in the Atlantic Yards mess:
On Friday, a federal appeals court summarily tossed a wacko attempt to block the state from using eminent domain to buy a handful of privately owned properties on the site. The opponents argued that Ratner had co-opted or corrupted every official who likes the idea of building 2,250 units of affordable housing there, along with a ton of market-rate housing and a home for the Nets.
Such is the nonsense that the opposition, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, has peddled for four years.
Now, the opponents are getting set to appeal again – and appear determined to wait the maximum of nine months before filing papers. This is the height of cynicism. The group is dragging its feet for one reason: to try to delay Atlantic Yards to death.
Every month costs Ratner $12 million, and financing has become increasingly difficult in the subprime mortgage credit crunch. The developer has asked the Appellate Division to force Develop Don’t Destroy to make its case on an expedited basis.
So, in the upside-down world of the editors, you’re “wacko” if you defend your property from being seized for the purpose of private development, any argument made against such a plan is “nonsense,” and, really, the developer, is the victim of abuse here. Hmm…
Moving on to Errol Louis’ column in the same paper:
There’s a real possibility that up to 100 construction and demolition workers could be laid off in the near future, thanks to the delaying tactics being employed by opponents of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.
It’s enough to make the blood boil.
The fact that real people could lose real jobs moves the proposed $4 billion development beyond an abstract debate over the process by which city and state agencies and businessman Bruce Ratner shaped the project.
One wishes the thought of real people losing real homes and businesses would have caused Mr. Louis’ blood to boil a while back.