On Tuesday Manhattan Supreme Justice Donna Mills ruled that the City, "alienated public parkland without approval by the New York State legislature in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine.” Construction on the $6 billion, 20-year plan cannot begin until the Legislature authorizes removal of the park space.
New York University is planning to appeal a court decision invalidating a portion of its 2 million square-foot expansion plans in Greenwich Village, according to Crains New York Business.
On Tuesday, state Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills ruled three parcels of land NYU planned to occupy during construction were actually public parks, requiring the university to seek state legislative approval before using them. The university hopes that decision will be overturned in a higher court.
“We are appealing because we disagree with the court's designation of three of the strips as 'implied parkland,” NYU spokesman John Beckman said, reiterating the contention that Ms. Mills’ decision still allows the university to go ahead with the first portion of its proposal, a 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use building.
Should the appeal succeed, the university would not need Albany to sign off on a later portion of its construction plans.
Randy Mastro, an attorney at Gibson and Dunn who represents a number of community groups who filed suit, contends the decision shows the university’s weakness.
“NYU's announcement that it intends to appeal, while unsurprising, is also an acknowledgment that, despite its initial spin, this wasn't a 'positive' outcome for NYU at all,” he said in a statement. “The Greenwich Village community won this case for compelling reasons.”
Mr. Beckman returned fire, stating: “I can understand Mr. Mastro's desire to present his clients with a victory; however, if he thinks he won, why does he keep concocting interpretations of the decision that are at odds with what the judge actually said?"