Atlantic Yards countdown:

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The Empire State Development Corporation invited Brooklynites to comment on the agency’s draft environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Yards project by sending letters to ESDC’s Maria Mooney, 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 or e-mailing by 5:30 pm on Sept. 29.

We’ve asked our readers to send copies of their testimony to Here are this week’s letters:

Dear Ms. Mooney:

My wife and I have lived in Brooklyn since 1984 and have raised two children here. I have watched the borough develop over the past 22 years with keen interest and optimism. When I moved here Fifth Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and the Sunset Park area was dark, dirty and dangerous. It is now one of the hottest retail and residential areas in Brooklyn and got that way through local development.

This is what we need more of in Brooklyn, not Atlantic Yards.

Among the things I am disturbed about are the comments from Forest City executives about job creation, wherein 1,500 jobs over 10 years magically becomes 15,000 jobs. Their calculated choice of words is reprehensible and disingenuous. The project is supposed to sound like a boon to local employment when, in fact, it is anything but.

And for every short-term job there will be long-term consequences on local travel, including environmental consequences as our air becomes dirtier, our schools more crowded and our backyards and streets perennially shrouded in shadow.

Also, while there has been much talk of the “blight” of the areas in which Forest City wishes to build, the only blight to be found is that caused by the company itself. Forest City’s prospective project has put a damper on any development in the area. Were it not for Forest City, I am sure that most if not all of the areas now termed “blighted” would be well on the way to development, at a human and humane scale, not the scale envisioned by this Trump-esque folly.

Planting enormous glass towers in an area of brownstones and townhouses makes no sense other than financial sense for the developer, and shows no respect for Brooklyn, its history or its residents.

While those in the outer reaches of Brooklyn or outside the borough may find the prospect of a sports stadium exciting, I find it horrifying.

But even more horrific is the response of elected officials like Borough President Marty Markowitz. He and other elected officials who have given this project their full support are playing games with our neighborhoods. They should be ashamed.

Finally, Brooklynites don’t need an NBA stadium to prove our worth.

Daniel P. Wiener, Park Slope

• • •

I have been a resident of Prospect Heights and Park Slope for 30 years. The draft environmental impact statement for Atlantic Yards states that [there are] unavoidable adverse impacts of this project. [But] these adverse impacts are not unavoidable. They can be ameliorated by 1) incorporating the recommendations of the highly respected Municipal Arts Society, and 2) reducing the density of the project.

Brooklyn is known for its low-rise three- and four-story brownstone neighborhoods. This building type is so appealing that it is the image that Forest City Ratner uses in its publicity brochures.

However, the Atlantic Yards project would destroy this character and replace it with 16 buildings rising as high as 60 stories. This is completely out of context with the surrounding neighborhood.

Yet the DEIS states that “the new land uses ... would be similar to, and compatible with, those in the surrounding primary and secondary study areas.” There is nothing compatible with the building types in Atlantic Yards.

Xenia Urban, Park Slope

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

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