Kings County Supreme Court Justice Katherine A. Levine upheld a restraining order against the city
today, blocking the de Blasio Administration from certifying the Uniform Land-Use Review Procedure
(ULURP) application for its massive Gowanus rezoning proposal, pending a second hearing scheduled
for Tuesday, February 2nd.
“We are pleased that the Court has maintained nearly all of the TRO today. Certification of the ULURP
Application remains barred for the time being. The Court allowed for the City to release the ULURP
Application, which we agree is helpful for public review,” said attorney Jason Zakai of Hiller, PC.
“Our clients look forward to continuing their efforts to obtain meaningful public access as the case continues,”
As part of her narrow ruling today, Judge Levine required that the de Blasio Administration release the full
rezoning application to the public, and has asked for the parties to come up with “creative solutions” that
would allow for “ample access” to the public and that address the array of issues with the City’s virtual-only
plan for public hearings. Justice Levine has left in place a restraining order dating back to January 15th that
stops the city from certifying its rezoning application. Only certification will trigger the start of ULURP.
What it All Means
“The court today affirmed that there are significant access and equity issues with the city’s attempt to
hold virtual-only public hearings on the Gowanus rezoning,” said Jack Riccobono of the Voice of Gowanus
Legal Committee. “The judge’s decision wisely requires that the city release the full Gowanus rezoning
application to the public, and stops the city’s attempt to stifle full, fair and equitable community participation during the public review process.”
This decision is the third time in two weeks that a judge has sustained an order preventing the city from
certifying the Gowanus rezoning.
“We’ve said it for months and it’s clear from today’s decision: our concerns here in Gowanus about issues of
access and due process are real. Virtual public hearings in their current form are not sufficient under city law
for rezonings,” said Gowanus resident Brad Vogel of Voice of Gowanus. "We'll continue our grassroots
fundraising push with the Gowanus Legal Defense Fund to keep this legal effort going."
The de Blasio Administration’s plan for virtual hearings is rushed, poorly planned, technically flawed,
and under-resourced. As the legal process moves forward, Voice of Gowanus has vowed to
continue the fight to protect our democratic institutions and to make sure the city follows the law, so
that all New Yorkers can have their voices heard during the public review process.
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