“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.
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.
TakeRoot supports community organizations resisting private development by providing strategic and legal advice on the environmental review and the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). ULURP requires that applications to rezone an area be reviewed by the relevant Community Board
With the support of the Neighborhoods First Fund, TakeRoot’s Equitable Neighborhoods team represent Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) as they work with Manhattan Community Board
TakeRoot provides legal and technical support to grassroots organizations creating Community Land Tursts in order to preserve long-term affordability and economic investment in their communities.