New York State Court of Appeals
Agrees to Hear Our Case Against NYU Expansion Plan
We have some wonderful and very important news to share -- the New York State Court of Appeals has agreed to hear our case against the NYU Expansion Plan. This is the State's highest court, and in November, GVSHP and our co-plaintiffs filed our case with them. Two lower courts have ruled differently on this matter -- one siding with our contention that the City illegally alienated public parkland for the NYU expansion plan, while the other court agreed with NYU and the City that the giveaway of public green space was legal.
The Court of Appeals, which could have chosen to let stand the lower court ruling siding with the City and NYU, is the final word in New York State on a case such as this. We are deeply gratified that they felt that our appeal merited their review.
In 2012, then-Borough President Stringer, the New York City Council, and the New York City Planning Commission approved NYU’s massive, 2 million square foot expansion plan. In addition to giving public green space to NYU, the plan overturned long-standing neighborhood zoning protections, open space preservation requirements, and urban renewal deed restrictions. It would allow the construction of four massive buildings, including the largest building ever constructed in Greenwich Village, as well as an enormous underground complex below the block bounded by Bleecker, West 3rd, and Mercer Streets and LaGuardia Place.
GVSHP, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants' Association, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of Petrosino Square, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., Lower Manhattan Neighbors' Organization, SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NoHo Neighborhood Association, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and 10 other individuals, filed suit against the City and State's approvals of the plan. We are represented on a pro bono basis by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, with Randy Mastro as lead attorney.
The outcome in this case has enormous implications, not only for our neighborhood, but citywide. In addition to deciding whether or not this massive plan, which will overwhelm our neighborhood, will be allowed to proceed, a decision in this case will affect the way in which public space in New York is regulated and protected under the law.
We greatly appreciate the support of our members, who have allowed us to move ahead with this appeal. We are especially grateful to all of our co-plaintiffs and to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for their work on our behalf.
As this case proceeds, we will keep you apprised of developments. We look forward to our day in court.