The lawsuit describes the slight-of-hand that the City Planning Commission used to incorrectly certify the developers' application to start the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) without an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Lawsuit filed by TakeRoot on behalf of Chhaya CDC, Minkwon Center for Community Action and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce argues that a full environmental review, with community input, was omitted and is necessary before City Council vote.
“The developers are on notice that if they don’t work with communities to come up with plans that work with everybody, we’ll see them in court,” said Paula Segal, a lawyer with TakeRoot Justice who is representing some of the
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.”
"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."
“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
“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.