TakeRoot threatened a court challenge over the project's environmental impact statement, which it says is insufficient because it assumed a wetlands permit that the state refused to be bullied into issuing in 2012 and has not issued yet.
"The message is that the rule of law applies to people who want to spend a lot of money building big buildings in New York, In 2019, that is a change."
Paula Segal said the recent ruling is “certainly a word of caution for anyone who’s looking to add buildings to any of the dozens of ‘large scale’ development plans in the city.”
“Once those changes are put into effect any new construction in this area will have to conform to the residents vision as it was developed,” says Paula Segal, an attorney with TakeRoot Justice who is working with the community groups
“It’s great to know that the court takes its oversight authority seriously,” said Paula Segal, an attorney who argued one of the lawsuits for community groups. “Usually there’s so much deference to the city.”
“The decision is very clear that none of the agencies can take any action. They cannot send confronting letters, they cannot accept applications, nothing can happen towards the development of the towers until they are properly approved.”
A lawyer for the groups, Paula Segal of TakeRoot Justice, said the goal is to rezone the neighborhood before developers re-apply to build the towers — forcing them to follow the community rezoning plans.
Uptown Council Member Helen Rosenthal‘s legislation which mandates the tracking of commercial storefronts across New York City, and a public database of vacant storefronts, was passed by the City Council today.
Paula Segal, an attorney on one of the lawsuits against the broader Two Bridges plan, said the Lower East Side groups she represents have already initiated conversations with the Department of City Planning on an application to change the zoning
“It was a strategy we developed two and a half years ago. It’s based on the Chinatown Working Group. So it’s kind of exciting to plan and see it come to fruition this way. It has all been very deliberate.