Court Halts Franklin Avenue Rezoning Project

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CROWN HEIGHTS — A Brooklyn judge temporarily blocked two 17-story towers slated for the corner of Franklin Avenue and Montgomery Street, a development project activists say would block sunlight to the neighboring greenhouses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Approved Cornell Realty development at 40 Crown St. (Renderings: CP VI Crown Heights LLC)
Approved Cornell Realty development at 40 Crown St. (Renderings: CP VI Crown Heights LLC)

On April 11, MTOPP The Movement To Protect The People filed a motion against developers Cornell Realty, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and NYC Planning to stop the Franklin Avenue Rezoning development. Civil Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes issued the temporary restraining order which prohibits developers from “pouring concrete” until an upcoming preliminary hearing.

Future court hearings will be based on the complaint of a missing environmental impact statement, which would survey the developer’s impact on the surrounding community. In the past, MTOPP argued developers skirted the environmental impact statement by underrepresenting the number of units, and so was the basis of the lawsuit.

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The group announced the decision during a rally in front of Cumbo’s office on April 17, pegging the victory a “David and Goliath Epic.”

The court decision comes after the City Council passed, 47 to 1, a controversial rezoning project that would build two 16-story towers at 40 Crown St and 931 Carroll St. This after residents and community activists rallied against the project for nearly a year.

A judge will hear further arguments on May 3 at 10:00 am at the Brooklyn Supreme Court of the State of New York.

“If the judge denies the preliminary injunction, The litigants have the right to appeal to the second division appellate decision,” Alicia Boyd told Bklyner.

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