Last Friday, June 13th, in a follow up to the ongoing NYU expansion struggle in Greenwich Village, a coalition of over 20 community members and groups filed a legal brief in the state appellate court in Manhattan.
A trial court in January held that the City violated state law by allowing NYU to take over three public parks for construction-related purposes during the twenty-year expansion project. The City and NYU have appealed this part of the lower court’s ruling.
The community coalition asks the appeals court to uphold the trial court, and to require the City and NYU to halt the project, reexamine the building plans and City approvals that were based on the illegal alienation of public parkland, and conduct a proper environmental review that takes the protected status of these parks into account. The parks defenders have also asked the appellate court to hold that the Mercer-Houston Dog Run, like the other three parcels, is public parkland.
The lawsuit, originally filed in September 2012, challenges decisions by the City and the State to approve the massive Sexton Plan, a $6 billion, almost two million square foot construction plan in the heart of historic Greenwich Village, for the convenience of NYU.
Meanwhile, Prof. Micha Tomkiewicz, author of the Climate Change Fork blog is currently attending thein Reykjavik, Iceland. Stay tuned for his update when he returns.