Big Loss for Atlantic Yards Opponents

Friday, February 01, 2008

A federal appeals court ruled eminent domain can be used to acquire property for the residential complex and sports arena.

The ruling leaves the 14 plaintiffs with one final option: to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take on their case. They are hoping the justices will jump at the chance to clarify their ruling in a 2004 case, Kelo versus New London.

The plaintiffs say the Kelo ruling did not clearly define whether government can invoke eminent domain for a project that was conceived first to benefit a private developer, as opposed to one that was planned from the start with the public in mind.

Opponents have lost four other court cases but are appealing or planning to appeal three of them.

Forest City Ratner, the developer, says it is moving forward with demolishing structures and expects to open the basketball arena in 2010.

For WNYC, I’m Matthew Schuerman.

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