Judge dismisses Article 78 lawsuit in Glendale homeless shelter case

The Glendale Property Owners Association (GPOA) updated the community on the status of the proposed homeless shelter on Cooper Avenue.
File photo/QNS

Community efforts to stop the construction of the proposed homeless shelter on Cooper Avenue in Glendale took a hit last week as a judge dismissed the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition’s Article 78 lawsuit.

The Glendale/Middle Village Coalition put forth the Article 78 lawsuit on the grounds that the environmental assessment conducted at the Cooper Avenue site was flawed in its findings and incomplete in its studies. They argued that the assessment did not fully capture the impact that a facility of that size would have on the surrounding community and called for another review before any action is taken.

They contended that the study, which was conducted by AECOM, contained erroneous information, including basic information about schools in the community close to the proposed homeless shelter.

The information in the AECOM study was outdated, but the judge overseeing the case determined that specific guidelines do not point to a significant impact for purposes of environmental analysis. The coalition states that if any decisions on the shelter were made based on the findings of this flawed study, then the decisions are flawed and another study is needed.

Judge Jennifer Schecter ruled that it is not the role of the courts to weigh in on many of the issues raised in the Article 78 lawsuit, but stated that the agency seemed to procedurally satisfy the considerations of environmental impact into planning and review.

“We expected that. I’ve been through things like this before,” said Bob Holden, member of the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition and president of the Juniper Park Civic Association. “I think most of us have been through things like this in the civics. We’re going to appeal, that’s a given. So we have planned on that. It was a long shot to begin with.”