Pastor Hector Laporta, Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church

Pastor Hector Laporta, Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church

Javier Genao, Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors

Javier Genao, Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors

Wendy Cheung, Chinese Staff and Workers Association, and Johnny Trelles, SPAN

Wendy Cheung, Chinese Staff and Workers Association, and Johnny Trelles, SPAN

Yolando Donato, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops

Yolando Donato, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops

The case, filed in the NY State Supreme Court by South Brooklyn Legal Services and Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, asserts that the city has violated environmental regulations in its determination that there would not be a significant impact on the neighborhood.

Citing the effects of a similar plan implemented in Park Slope, the case details sloppy and telling errors in calculation that allow the Department of City Planning (DCP) to vastly underestimate impact. The actual impact, organizers say, would drive out locally owned business, displace local residents, and alter the character of the community.

Organizers expressed alarm at what appears to be a quickening of the review efforts — just before they submitted their lawsuit, the proposal was sent to City Council, its final stage in review, and could be voted on as early as September 9.

Yolando Donato, with the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, characterized the fight as part of a larger battle over a pattern of unsustainable development efforts initiated by Mike Bloomburg's administration. Javier Genao, organizer with the Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors juxtaposed such efforts with a worldwide movement of people and communities who see themselves as part of the ecosystem, and want to rebuild connection rather than dismantle it.