Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vito Lopez' honest graft rezoning goes to court

From the Brooklyn Paper:

The city discriminated against blacks and Latinos during its controversial Broadway Triangle rezoning last year, awarding two politically connected groups no-bid contracts to develop city-owned land, opponents charged in court last week, the opening salvo of a legal battle seeking to derail the plan.

Plaintiffs argued that the city excluded 40 community groups when it gave the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and the United Jewish Organizations the sole right to develop housing on three city-owned lots in the so-called Broadway Triangle, which is roughly bordered by Flushing Avenue, Broadway and Union Avenue in Williamsburg.

“The timeline of events is not in dispute and the timeline shows intent,” said Shekar Krishnan, an attorney representing the 40 groups.

The plans include a disproportionately high level of three- and four-bedroom apartments, which plaintiffs say, was included to appease Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, which tends to have larger family sizes.

Beyond that, plaintiffs charge that the rezoning was undertaken solely to reward the two politically connected groups.

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