A ruling that would have saved three Greenwich Village parks from being destroyed by New York University’s overblown and unnecessary expansion plan was overturned on October 14th by the Appellate Division’s First Department.
Petitioners in the case, including NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation expressed their dismay, but vowed to take the case to the State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals:
“We believe the First Department panel made the wrong decision today in overturning Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills’ decision preserving and protecting New York City parkland, and allowing the City to give this land away to NYU for its deeply unpopular and bloated expansion plan,” said GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman.
“We will be working with our co-plaintiffs and our lawyers to appeal this wrong-headed decision as soon as possible. Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills was correct in identifying this much-needed public green space as parkland which cannot be alienated by the City or NYU. We continue to believe that the sanctity of this principle should be upheld, and we are confident that it will be upon appeal. Since the City Council, City Planning Commission, and Borough President first gave away public park space to NYU, and overturned long-standing deed restrictions, zoning protections, and open space preservation requirements to allow NYU to move ahead with its massive plan, we knew we were up against a lot. But I believe that in the end the best interests of the City, the Village, and even the university, as articulated by its faculty, workers, and students who oppose this plan, will prevail, and the courts will halt NYU 2031,” added Berman.
Local elected officials and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer all expressed disappointment about the ruling, but pledged to continue their support for Village parks and their opposition to NYU’s expansion plan.