Doug Derryberry

618 Dean St #1B
Brooklyn, NY 11238
May 8, 2014
Attn: Derek Lynch
Empire State Development
633 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
My name is Doug; I live on Dean St. between Carlton and Vanderbilt Aves which is 1 1/2
blocks from the arena and directly across the street from arena surface parking. I’m a
member of the Dean St. Block Association. I’m also a 22 year faithful dues paying
member of A.F.M. local #802. I’m pro-union; I’m pro jobs. I’m not necessarily anti-
development, but I’m dissatisfied with how the Atlantic Yards development has been a
colossal bait and switch for the local community.
Before I moved to Dean St in 2005 I was wary of the project, but hopeful that the
upheaval nearby would be tolerable, and ultimately worth it.
In the years since 2005, I’ve tried to be patient and keep a close eye on things. It’s hard
for me to watch because it is too clear how the government does NOT have the public’s
interest at heart. Crony capitalism has been evident again and again - circumnavigating
ULURP(uniform Land Use Review) the price they paid MTA for the railyards, the tax
subsidies for Forest City Ratner…. All the things Bloomberg, Pataki, Schumer, Cuomo et
al have employed to further line the pockets of their buddy Bruce Ratner is appalling .
The collusion between FCR and ESDC- who withheld critical documents from public
view so they can re-approve his Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) w/o a Revised
Environmental Impact Statement was illegal! The NY Supreme Court declared it illegal
when they ruled against ESDC in 2011 calling for this new SEIS.
I have learned that Corporations can be and often are evil. and that while government is
meant to serve interests of the public, sometimes it merely serves the interests of
billionaire developers. It’s time for better State governance and supervision of this
project.
Walking around this neighborhood year in and year out, it’s easy to see the negative
impacts the project puts on its neighbors. The decrease of parking and increased traffic
congestion that started with this project is undeniable. Many street trees that we rely on
for shade and better air quality have been cut , and almost none replaced; they’re just
gone til further notice. Moving Violations of construction vehicles approaching the
project site are frequent. I have filed several incident reports on Atlantic Yards
Watch.net, a local community blog which documents neighbors grievances and
concerns relating to the project. I’ve witnessed many more violations than I’ve reported
- illegally parked idling trucks, etc.
We neighbors, especially if we are facing ongoing construction possibly for the rest of
our lives NEED better accountability from this developer. IT is the JOB of our
government to make sure this private developer stays compliant with ALL laws and
environmental regulations and commitments during the project. I’m tired of and
disappointed with the ESDC’s cheating. I would like to join the call for a new project
oversight entity - a dedicated public development corporation with a board populated by
LOCAL community members vetted my LOCAL elected officials. Especially now that a
deal is proposed to allow Forest City Ratner to sell a controlling interest in this project
to a Chinese corporation that is wholly owned by the Chinese government, the
community must have a way to have their voices heard! It’s been hard enough to get a
response from Forest City Ratner for the ways in which their project has violated laws
and made hardships for it’s neighbors. If we do not have a body like this in place, how
are we going to have any recourse with a government for which accountability to it’s own
citizens is not even a concept?!
Like I said in the beginning, I’m pro-union, I’m pro jobs. What I’m saying is not a threat
to any job over at the stadium. That stadium is here to stay. We, the neighbors of the
stadium, are also here to stay. And we’d like the state to make sure that we neighbors
have a fail safe way to have our grievances against the developer heard and addressed.
Thanks Sincerely,
Doug Derrybery