Atlantic Yards

Conflict of Interest & Violations of Conduct

The Board fined a Commissioner for the City Planning Commission (CPC) $4,000 for voting in favor of a development plan which would benefit another project in which the Commissioner was an investor.

The CPC Commissioner acknowledged that she voted in favor of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan, which development plan included a proposal to modify the definition of “commercial” for certain areas in Brooklyn covered by the plan. One of the areas subject to this modification was located at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, also known as Site 6A, an area that was also part of the private development plan for the building of a stadium for the Nets basketball team and related real estate development, in which plan the Commissioner was an investor.

By voting in favor of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan, the Commissioner conferred a benefit on this private development plan, known as the Atlantic Yards Project, by providing it with the potential ability to use Site 6A for residential as well as commercial use under the modified definition of -commercial. The CPC Commissioner acknowledged that by voting in favor of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan, she violated the City’s conflicts of interest law, which prohibits a public servant from using or attempting to use his or her position as a public servant to obtain any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or another private or personal advantage, direct or indirect, for the public servant or any person or firm associated with the public servant. COIB v. Williams, COIB Case No. 2004-517 (2007).  Source: Law of the Land blog


As above:

Seek out sources of criticism and analysis on the lunatic yards:

UDC Committee Member Policy Development

Goals, Objectives and Strategies
What Planners and Urban Designers Really Think About: Atlantic Yards:
It is big (very), it is bad (ugly is relative), and it is unfortunate, but so what?

The Exhausting Details

Put an End to Super Blocking.  Yea!  We did it! (you the wo(man) send you a bundle)

Make a serious run at the fact checkers. Get to the point where we will be more interested in finding ways to move the goal posts or wag the dog, and so on.

Draft up a major set of questions by type/scope (about 1,000 of them) for the Draft EIS all with a demand for metrics.


The long anticipated Atlantic Center project broke ground on 30 September 1994. Recall the vision of the late Harry Simmons on housing and compare that with the result NYCHP result€¦ The public was assured that 365,000 square foot retail development and a 650 car garage would be developed.

The leasing plan assured a substantial portion of Atlantic Center as a Bradley’s and a Pathmark. The Pathmark is a standard 50-70K and the Bradley de jure is 100 to 150K, and leaves over 100K in small retail store, vendors, and the like. In the second phase (estimated correctly to be within five years) an additional 442,000 square feet of retail space and a 450-car garage was developed.

The proof is in; the Ratner development team tends to do what it says it will do.

Question: Is this about a sports image or a massive housing development plan? Mike Lupica Bruce is selling a massive housing project as a sports deal. So in large type:

Separate housing from housing. Get more than an M0U on the school site from the usual suspects and set a deadline for deadline renewal.
Isolate all answers to the housing who question that fall firmly into the category of an “it depends” This allows us to frame the debate, a planning issue defined as “delay, lack of results, poor product.”
Press for an op-ed style debate. (well that worked)

Is this Deal or No Deal?

One of the great community assets is its long memory of past events and promises. With the gift of term-limits, there are new rules. All useful agreements with term limited city council members must not become, of necessity contractual signed agreements. They are broken at the political risk of the next election and can stay in force regardless of the next representative. Following, are suggested components for debate.

In the spirit of no one is as smart as all of us, working a list into a MYSQL format is useful.  Plugging in the metrics that each heading/issue demands is the only way to get it organized to search for things like “automobiles” on site, by time of day, private or public, parked or moving.

Any group of people can refine this well enough to express a planning values matrix as a matter of balance if not power and for the record.  It manages the exhausting details for history.  The goal (win or lose) is to represent what’s right? in our collective minds in Ratner’s financial value matrix. In other words, the argument should be on quality and thereafter on whether or not “the development” will produce $20 billion vs. $10 billion in revenue.

There is No Deal Without a Clear Understanding of the Whole Deal
There is a Deal on a sensitive approach to scale and place.
Following is a tactical outline. Massive integrated project outline anyone?

Remember the only three main points on every issue that are important:

1) Is it true?
2) Is it logical?
3) Is it moral?

Use these questions on every issue.  From the total number of apartments to the percent that will means tested or stabilized, owned or rented with offsite parking or not, and so on.

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