Draft EIS Adequate for Public Review

West siders sought to prevent public hearing on Hudson Yards Project. Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association filed an article 78 petition to prevent the September 23, 2004 public hearing on the West Side’s No. 7 Subway extension and Hudson Yards rezoning and development project. The Association claimed that the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Planning Commission, lead agencies for the required environmental review, had submitted an incomplete draft environmental impact statement and, as a result, prevented the Association from meaningful participation at the public hearing. According to the Association, the draft environmental impact statement offers the only opportunity for public comment on the environmental impacts of the project and, since it lacked important information, it could not form the basis for public review.

Justice Herman Cahn denied the petition, ruling that the Association had not yet suffered an injury or exhausted its administrative remedies. Final approval had not yet occurred and the Association could voice its concerns and objections at the scheduled hearing. The court found that if after the hearings the Planning Commission did not issue a sufficiently detailed final environmental impact statement, the Association could then petition the court.

Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Ass’n v. Dep’t of City Planning, N.Y.L.J., Sept. 27, 2004 at 18 (N.Y.Cty.Sup.Ct.) (Cahn, J.).

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