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Eminent Domain Could Help Save a Crown Heights Garden

Crown Heights residents have launched a letter writing campaign to save a community garden through legislation, DNAinfo reports. Currently, two bills are in the State legislature that call for the state to take over the Roger That Garden located at 115 Rogers Avenue through eminent domain, and make it a part of the city parks department's GreenThumb program. The land on which the community garden is located has been mirred in legal conflict for the past few years.

Development firm TYC Realty purchased the land in 2013, and subsequently announced plans to replace the garden with a four-story mixed use building. TYC Realty filed an eviction notice against the garden, but a Brooklyn civil court judge dismissed the matter last November, which provided a temporary reprieve.

Now two elected officials —State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson have decided to support the community garden through this new bill. Local residents in turn are now writing letters to encourage elected officials in Albany to support the eminent domain bill, which has yet to receive a date for a vote.

Just last week we reported on yet another community garden, the Elizabeth Street Garden, that's also in danger of being demolished —in that case it's for affordable housing. These and other community gardens in danger are highlighted in a piece published by the New York Times last week.

· Threatened Community Garden Could Become Park Through Eminent Domain [DNAinfo]
· Community Gardens Imperiled by New York's Affordable Housing Plans [New York Times]
· Shady Developer, Gardeners Battle Over Crown Heights Land [Curbed]