When developers planned to build three massive luxury buildings in the Two Bridges neighborhood on the Lower East Side, community groups fought back.
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Daniel Carpenter-Gold, of TakeRoot Justice, which represents the tenants association, said the proposed commercial upzoning is tailored more for big box stores ... “Why would they need this [commercial] rezoning?” he said. “Their renderings showed a coffee shop.”
“We’re asking the court to step in and enforce the law before it’s too late,” said Paula Segal, an attorney with TakeRoot Justice who represents QNU.
"You don't see places like Target in the pretty renderings that the developer gave the City," Daniel Carpenter-Gold, a staff attorney at TakeRoot Justice, said in a statement. "But make no mistake, that's what they're going for here."
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.
To attorney Paula Segal of TakeRoot Justice, who is also working with the rezoning group, the judge’s comments “really opened the door to a collaborative approach” with the city. “We’re really happy about that,” she said.
Without Moya's backing, the rezoning proposal never came to a vote in the City Council, and the project was scuttled.
A new report highlights fears of higher prices and lost jobs.
The latest city budget includes $750,000 to grow an underutilized housing model that creates affordable homes in rapidly gentrifying communities—a major win for housing advocates. The funds will go toward incubating community land trusts (CLTs).
Private development planned on the Holmes Towers public housing site on the Upper East Side will restart its community engagement process as the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has withdrawn its Section 18 application from HUD.
“We won Two Bridges hearing, today. The judge accepted our arguments and extended the restraining order until written decision in August. He said on the record that he believes the process was fatally flawed.”
Paula Segal, the attorney with the Equitable Neighborhoods Practice at the Community Development Project, asserts that because the buildings reside within the LSRD they must go through a process know as “authorization,” Segal told Curbed after Wednesday’s hearings.
“Today, the BSA got it wrong,” said Paula Segal, senior attorney with Equitable Neighborhoods Practice at the Community Development Project, who is working with QNU. “The City cannot allow developers to bury big box stores underground to skirt...”
The de Blasio administration has postponed plans to develop private apartment buildings on a public housing site in East Williamsburg, signaling another challenge in the city’s quest to generate revenue for the struggling New York City Housing Authority.
Building a case like this takes thousands of hours, Segal says, working with community organizers to prepare affidavits, gathering evidence to build a legal argument, responding to questions from the judge. Consistency is everything.
“...And we humans living nearby will likely see our homes damaged or destroyed come the next big storm.”
“The danger is, if we don’t challenge Target, national retailers will think they could put department stores anywhere in the city,” said Paula Segal, attorney for QNU. “We will no longer have residential districts. It will just be mall NYC.”
“It is illegal for them to build here,” she said, “and our community will not take it.”
The “Cooperation Agreement” between AHI and the Community Stakeholder Group will now ensure that the mixed-use development will have a 22,000 square feet supermarket.
Community garden will continue its 20-year tradition of serving fresh produce to New Yorkers TakeRoot represented the Isahbaliah Ladies of Elegance Foundation in making the claim that the land was open space held in public trust by the City for
The agreement calls for delivery of 2,250 promised units of affordable housing ten years earlier than previously agreed; imposes penalties for failure to meet deadlines; creates tenant protection fund and special oversight subsidiary.
TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team represents Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU), New York City Council Member Francisco Moya, New York State Senator Jessica Ramos, Desis Rising Up and Moving and individual QNU members in litigation against the City and the developer to
Comments on Developer’s Application for a Freshwater Wetlands Permit to allow paving of a Mariners’ Harbor, Staten Island wetland for a strip mall and wholesale store (August 29, 2019): As counsel to the Staten Island Coalition for Wetlands and Forests,
TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team represents Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Land’s End One Tenants Association (LEOTA), and LaGuardia Houses Tenants’ Association in litigation against the