Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Court of Appeals hears eminent domain case

Opponents of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn gather outside the state Court of Appeals building in Albany before the court heard oral arguments. Gazette photo by Doron Tyler Antrim

The State Court of Appeals heard arguments this afternoon in a case that may affect the use of eminent domain in New York state.

The case, Goldstein v. New York Urban Development Corp., is centered around eminent domain – the ability of the government to take a citizens private property for public use. In this case, the plaintiffs believe that their homes are being taken for private, rather than public use for a project called Atlantic Yards.

Atlantic Yards proposes to build a basketball stadium in Brooklyn that would be home to the New Jersey Nets, among other things. The project will affect neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

About 40 members of “Develop Don’t Destroy,” a community based organization opposed to the Atlantic Yards project, were outside of the court before the hearing in addition to approximately 20 members of the Community Benefits Agreement Coalition, which is an organization of community leaders who are in favor of the project.

This is the first time since 2005 that the State Court of Appeals considers limits on the use of eminent domain.

The hearing of the case ended around 3 p.m. and a decision is being awaited.

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