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NYU Scores Victory in Long-Fought Legal Battle To Expand

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City Council approved New York University's $6 billion expansion plan more than two years ago, but a flurry of lawsuits has stopped anything from actually happening (once upon a time, construction was supposed to start this year). Well, that may be about to change. Today, the appellate court reversed a previous decision by the state Supreme Court that blocked the development, giving NYU the green light to finally move forward with the megaproject.

In January, state judge Donna M. Mills ruled that some of the sites where NYU planned to building—known as Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—were "implied park land," and therefore, NYU needed special permission from the state to take over the land. However, in today's ruling, the appellate judges "questioned how a parcel of land becomes 'implied' as park land," according to DNAinfo, and ultimately found that these three properties are not, in fact, park land.

Crain's shared the four-page decision in its entirety. In it, the judges write:

"While the City has allowed for the long-term continuous use of parts of the parcels for park-like purposes, such use was not exclusive, as some of the parcels (like LaGuardia Park) have also been used as pedestrian thoroughfares. [...] Further, any management of the parcels by the Department of Parks and Recreation was understood to be temporary and provisional, pursuant to revocable permits or licenses. Moreover, the parcels have been mapped as streets since they were acquired by the City, and the City has refused various requests to have the streets de-mapped and re-dedicated as parkland."NYU's opponents in this whole thing have continuously argued that the properties have not been designated official parks or mapped as such because NYU has continuously lobbied for this not to happen. NYU sent out a statement saying they are "pleased by today's unanimous decision," and that "it is now also clear that the University has the legal right to proceed with this project." The opponents told DNAinfo that they will appeal the decision. Obviously. These villagers aren't the type to roll over and give up because of one pesky court decision.
· NYU Expansion Plan Gets Green Light From Appellate Court [Curbed]
· Court rules in favor of NYU expansion [Crain's]
· All NYU Expansion coverage [Curbed]