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NIMBY’s Lawsuit Against Brooklyn Heights Library Redevelopment Is Mulled

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The lawsuit alleges that the development’s Environmental Assessment Statement is incomplete

A group of Brooklyn Heights NIMBY's is still trying to block the sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library site at Cadman Plaza West to developer Hudson Companies. Love Brooklyn Libraries, Inc. (an unaffiliated offshoot of other anti-library sale group Love Brooklyn Libraries!) filed a suit attempting to stop the sale and redevelopment of the site by focusing on the development plan’s perceived lack of an environmental impact statement. Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez-Salta heard the case last Friday and will mull it over, Brooklyn Daily Eagle says.

Love Brooklyn Libraries, Inc.’s lawsuit makes a whole bunch of claims that the city refutes, and they are as follows: additional traffic was inadequately considered (city says: the project doesn’t generate enough vehicle trips to warrant further traffic studies according to thresholds set in the city’s technical manual), the area will lose the Business & Career Library and the federal document depository (city says: it was going to be moved to the BPL’s central branch anyway—moot point), and that the importance of the original library architect, Francis Keally, or of artist Clemente Spampinato, who did the library’s stone freizes, wasn’t considered (city says: the LPC found that the library wasn’t architecturally significant).

The city maintains that the Brooklyn Heights branch, as is, is in need of $9 million of repairs. The sale of the site and its surrounding air rights will generate $40 million for libraries throughout the city, as well as result in a brand spankin’ new facility with room for STEM labs and 114 units of affordable housing in Clinton Hill.

A spokesperson for the de Blasio administration said that developer Hudson Companies’ bid was chosen because it provided the greatest benefit to the community. The developer’s bid became the center of an investigation when Hudson's relationship to de Blasio was prodded by the New York Post.

A judgement will be rendered within 60 days.