De Blasio takes on Bloomberg-era court battles

New mayor sides with his predecessor on issues like private use of public space

Jan.January 13, 2014 12:15 PM

The new administration will defend two controversial cases – one involving the appropriate use of public spaces and another involving yellow cabs — in court this week. The move, critics say, is a sign that Mayor Bill de Blasio is breaking away from his campaign rhetoric and aligning himself with the previous administration’s plans.

In 2008, park activists sued the city, arguing that allowing the upscale restaurant by Simon Oren, Chef Driven Market, to operate in Union Square violates rules about profit-making enterprises in public spaces. A lower court sided with the plaintiffs but its decision was later overturned by a higher court.

The activists have now taken their fight to the state appellate court, where arguments will be heard Tuesday, the New York Post reported. A source told the newspaper that the city, now with de Blasio at the helm, would continue to battle the suit.

The same source added that the city would also appeal a lower court’s ruling that blocked a city mandate that all yellow cabs must be replaced by Nissan’s van-like NV200 vehicles. The lower court had ruled that the mandate would hurt drivers financially and result in a monopoly for Nissan, according to the Post.

A spokesperson for the Greater New York Taxi Association said in a statement to the Post that, “It is a shame that the new mayor had to inherit a failed and poorly thought-out matter from the old administration.” [NYP]Hiten Samtani 

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