A Manhattan Supreme Court judge’s recent decision to bar New York University from using two city-owned strips of land in its planned expansion may have done community advocates more harm than good, according to a Crain’s op-ed.
Justice Donna Mills ruled on Jan. 7 that the bits of park land, which have never been mapped as parks despite their continued use as such, should not have been given to NYU without the state’s approval. This move will make it difficult and possibly economically unfeasible for the university to build a large portion of the project.
Disregarding the city maps, which show the land as streets despite them having been used as parks for decades, opens future projects to a new possibility of legal attack, the op-ed argues. The project, when complete, would actually provide better access to green space than the community has, the author writes, despite the short-term disruption of access to the two parcels while the project is under construction.
“The city shouldn’t lose control of its land to Albany because it let people play and relax there,” the author contends. “Should NYU lose its appeal, it would need the state legislature to redesignate the parcels that Justice Mills unilaterally turned into parks, which is not likely to happen because Village Assemblywoman Deborah Glick opposes the university’s expansion plans.” [Crain's] — Julie Strickland