NEW YORK (AP) -A judge threw out a petition by neighborhood groups to stop the $4 billion redevelopment of Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards, where construction of an arena for the NBA's Nets is planned.
State Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden ruled Friday that developers of the 22-acre site did enough studies on the impact of traffic, crowds, potential terrorism and other environmental factors on the area to satisfy legal requirements.
The petitioners, a coalition of 26 neighborhood groups, had claimed they would be ``directly affected'' and ``harmed by the substantial adverse environmental impacts of a project of such enormous scale.''
The project's opponents said agencies and developers had not taken the requisite ``hard look'' at the project's impact on open space, schools, fire and police protection, and had not considered alternative projects.
Bruce Ratner, CEO and Chairman of Forest City Ratner, praised the Manhattan court's decision.
``It further clears the way for Atlantic Yards and the thousands of jobs, affordable housing units and world-class arena ... that will accompany the project,'' he said in a statement.
Ratner said he is moving ``full speed ahead on the project.''
Besides a new arena for the Nets, the project is expected to include office space and as many as 6,400 new apartments.
Jeffrey S. Baker, lead lawyer for the community plaintiffs, said they would appeal.
Daniel Goldstein, spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, one of the groups opposing the development, said the group's fight was far from over.
``Let's be clear: Atlantic Yards cannot move forward while the 13 plaintiffs - homeowners, business owners and tenants - are in federal court in a separate case challenging New York State's unconstitutional use of eminent domain.''
An appeal is pending in that case, which was dismissed by a federal judge last year.
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