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.
TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team takes on matters where organizing groups are enforcing zoning and environmental laws. Examples of past campaigns supported by litigation: Chhaya CDC, Minkwon Center for Community Action and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce v. NYC Department
TakeRoot worked directly with residents at Wyckoff Gardens, LaGuardia Houses, Holmes Towers and Cooper Park Houses – the four sites where NYCHA and NYC Housing Preservation and Development have publicized an intention to allow private developers to construct market rate
“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.”
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.
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