The fight over New York University's massive expansion plan, currently held up in the courts, centers on the dispute over whether or not NYU is trying to illegally take over public parkland. The University claims that it is not, having made a concerted effort over a number of years to prevent the land it wants from be officially designated parkland, while its opponents claim that it is, and that the future sites of some of the new buildings—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—are "implied parkland" based on the fact that they are, well, parks. Different judges have ruled on both sides already, with appeals following. Now, 22 state legislators have added their names to the anti-expansion camp, filing a brief in support of a suit filed by assemblywoman Deborah Glick.
According to a press release sent out on behalf of State Senator Brad Hoylman, one of the names attached to the brief, "The brief argues that the State has a 'unique and irreplaceable role as the trustee of public lands,' and that a lower court's ruling in favor of the NYU expansion 'diminishes the State's authority over parkland and impermissibly reallocates that authority to the City.'"
"For many years, park alienation legislation has come to the Legislature from communities all over the State, including New York City," writes Glick. "The desire to assist a powerful private institution should not obviate the normal processes of government."
· 22 legislators file brief against N.Y.U. expansion [Capital]
· NYU coverage [Curbed]
· State pols support last-ditch effort to block NYU expansion [Crain's]
· Read the brief [PDF]