Appeal Update

On Friday October 20, 2017 the NY Appellate Court heard the oral arguments in our case.

First, I want to thank all who showed up to the courthouse supporting STVN. It was great seeing everyone.

The four judge panel is clearly interested in the case, allowing both sides to present oral arguments for much longer than expected. The judges also appear to fully appreciate that the Pierhouse development on Pier 1 is much larger than what the community was promised in 2005. Finally they also seem to recognize the inconsistency between the Park’s planning documents written in 2005, and the Pierhouse buildings that Toll Brothers actually built.

The panel of judges asked a number of questions related to the views that existed before the demolition of the Cold Storage Warehouse versus the Pierhouse which took its place. I am sure many of you remember that in 2005 the community was told that the building that replaces the Cold Storage Warehouse would improve the views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade. I remember, even as the Pierhouse was being built, hearing that the views of the Brooklyn Bridge will be preserved. Well that did not happen and instead Toll Brothers was allowed to almost double the size of the building that was specified in 2005 blocking not only the views to the Brooklyn Bridge, but also the protected views from Middagh St. of the Manhattan skyline.

We do not know why Toll Brothers was allowed to double the size of the building. What we know is that in 2005 the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp hired a consultant to write a set of design guidelines for Pier 1 and the two other development parcels in the Park incorporating the agreement to preserve the view. If the proposed building on Pier 1 (the Pierhouse) had been built in accordance to these 2005 guidelines the views of the Bridge would have not only been preserved, they would have been improved. Why Regina Myers ignored those guidelines for the construction of the Pierhouse and violated the size and height restriction promises to the public is anyone’s guess.

That being said, the judges are not ruling on our case’s merits, but on whether or not we brought the suit in a timely manner.

While there is no hard time line for the Judges’ decision, I am told we can expect to hear from the Court in 60-90 days.

 

Steven Guterman

Save The View Now