I attended the hearing on the 25th...it was a fiasco! Judge Solomon, as expected came down in favor of Parks & Rec.
I have been waiting for the Plaintiffs'attorneys to file an appeal.
That it has yet to filed is a puzzle! Given, what I believe to
be the key point in his ruling...is so outrageously 'slanted'
in favor of the city, I think an appeal is highly winnable.
"Solomon ruled late last week that the project does not need such a review, comparing it to changing an athletic field to artificial turf."
While, in large part...he based his ruling on this claim:
The petitioners contend that respondent’s plans to replace the Riegelmann Boardwalk are subject to environmental review pursuant to the Environmental Quality Review Act (Environmental Conservation Law §8-0101, et seq. - “SEQRA”) together with Title 6 of the New York Code, Rules and Regulations (6 N.Y.C.R.R. §617, et seq.); and the New York City Environmental Quality Review (Executive Order 91 and Title 62 of the Rules of the City of New York 62 R.C.N.Y. §5-01, et seq. - collectively “CEQR”).
Further, the petitioners are concerned that the Riegelmann Boardwalk project is one part of a long range plan to replace the entire boardwalk (approximately one million square feet) with recycled plastic lumber and concrete. This alleged long range plan is of great concern to the petitioners for two reasons. First, the Riegelmann Boardwalk and Coney Island Beach are enduring symbols of New York City and the famous Coney Island. Second, petitioners contend that respondent failed to take into consideration the environmental impact on this coastal area.
Therefore, respondent arbitrarily and capriciously decided to first, classify the Riegelmann Boardwalk project as one not subject to environmental review, and second, not conduct a review of the aesthetic impact of recycled plastic lumber and concrete.
The respondent argues that an environmental review was not necessary since the Riegelmann Boardwalk Project only involves maintenance or repair involving no substantial changes to an existing structure or facility and/or the replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of a structure or facility on the same site. As such, the project comes within the several exemptions from environmental review.
Respondents also argue that an injunction should not be issued since petitioners cannot meet the necessary criteria. First, they cannot establish a likelihood on the merits since the petition is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Second, there is an absence of imminent or irreparable harm. Third, equity dictates if the project is delayed, Parks will need to relinquish the grant money in the amount of $7,400,000.00 for the rehabilitation of the deteriorating boardwalk. Moreover, the petitioners’ alleged atheistic harm is outweighed by the environmental impact of deforestation."
It's all about the money!