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Chinese Staff and Workers Association v. City of New York

502 N.E.2d 176, 68 N.Y.2d 359, 509 N.Y.S.2d 499 (1986)

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Chinese Staff and Workers Association v. City of New York

New York Court of Appeals

502 N.E.2d 176, 68 N.Y.2d 359, 509 N.Y.S.2d 499 (1986)

Facts

The City of New York (city) (defendant) enacted City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), an executive order, as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). CEQR required the city’s lead agencies to prepare an environmental-impact statement (EIS) for a proposed construction project if, considering the short- and long-term and primary and secondary effects of the project, it might have a significant effect on the environment. Henry Street Partners applied for a special permit to develop a high-rise luxury condominium in the city’s Chinatown section. The lead agency conducted an environmental review and determined that no EIS was necessary. Relying on the lead agency’s determination, the city granted the special permit. The Chinese Staff and Workers Association (the association), along with other members of the Chinatown community (plaintiffs) challenged the grant of the special permit. The association argued that the lead agency had conducted its environmental review without considering whether the construction project would accelerate the displacement of low-income residents and businesses or alter the character of the community. According to the association, the environmental review was arbitrary and capricious because it failed to consider these factors as required by CEQR.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alexander, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Wachtler, Hancock, J.J.)

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