Farewell my ol’ pal Izzy and his pet rat.
A federal judge on Wednesday upheld New York’s $3 billion redevelopment plan for Willets Point, an industrial section of Queens dominated by car-repair shops and waste-management businesses, finding that although the city had neglected the neighborhood’s infrastructure for decades, the constitutional rights of the businesses there — many of which will be forced to relocate under the plan — were not violated.
The plaintiffs, who organized themselves into an entity called the Willets Point Industry and Realty Association, and who “have established thriving businesses (notwithstanding the grossly inadequate infrastructure of the area)” and employ hundreds of people, “are understandably aggrieved by the fact that the plan that the city is in the process of implementing has no place for them,” the judge, Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, wrote. However, he ruled, it was not the place of federal judges to intervene in the dispute.
...Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s redevelopment plan was approved by the City Council, 42 to 2, last November. It calls for new sanitary and stormwater sewers, more power lines and new roadways and bicycle lanes. It also seeks new mixed-use development — including, possibly, a hotel and convention center — but envisions sweeping away the current industrial uses through eminent domain.
Judge Korman expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs whose property would be acquired by the government (with compensation) but found that they lacked a federal claim. “The timing of this lawsuit as well as plaintiffs’ own admissions at oral argument suggests,” he wrote, that the “real purpose of their lawsuit is to obstruct and forestall the implementation of the approved plan.”
Posted: November 27, 2009 at 12:28 AM | 215 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark