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Queens Chronicle

Lawsuit filed to stop Cooper Ave. shelter

Plaintiffs say city bypassed required reviews in picking the Glendale spot

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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Wed Nov 27, 2019.

In another chapter of the on-again, off-again proposed homeless shelter for 200 men at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, neighborhood residents filed a lawsuit last Tuesday saying that Mayor de Blasio and the city bypassed required environmental reviews.

According to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court — one which mistakenly calls the mayor “DiBlasio” — residents said the city “utterly ignored their legal obligations” by not conducting the reviews.

The plaintiffs, which include the Glendale Property Owners Association, Juniper Park Civic Association and the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association, among others, said without an environmental review of the project impacts, like a strain on police and fire safety, weren’t considered.

A New York City Law Department spokesman told the New York Post the lawsuit is premature because the city is “taking all the required steps for this project, including conducting an environmental review.”

Christopher Murray, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told the Post the process is a “flippant way of doing things with a lot of arrogance and ignoring what the legal responsibility is.”

“I’m proud of the communities of Glendale and Middle Village for fighting against this ill-advised plan for a homeless shelter at this location,” tweeted Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village).

The City Law Department told NY1 “This initiative is an important component of Turning the Tide and we’ll defend it accordingly.” In 2014, Murray sued the city on behalf of the Glendale Middle Village Coalition, claiming an environmental assessment failed to take into account sewer service, traffic and area schools. The lawsuit was dismissed in October 2015.

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