As expected, the City Club of New York has pushed back against the Hudson River Park Trust’s (HRPT) newly approved permit modification to move forward with construction on Pier 55 by filing a new complaint in a Manhattan Federal Court on Monday.
The City Club of New York alleges that the Hudson River Park Trust changed the construction method used on the island to avoid statutory environmental mandates. The complaint also argues that the amended plan requires the elimination of most of the island’s trees, getting rid of their natural noise-reducing properties and prompting the need for further environmental review.
Last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was given permission to move forward with construction on the project after amending its original application. The amendment included changes to the concrete filling that would be used and developers did away with an actor’s barge that was originally to be included.
The City Club argues that the barge “was necessary to minimize damage to the appearance of the island and the quality of performances” in its latest complaint. “We intend to pursue this litigation to the very end unless it is settled in the best public interest,” City Club lawyer Richard Emery said.
It’s the latest development in the long saga of the 2.7-acre proposed park, which is funded by mogul Barry Diller. As we’ve previously reported, lawsuits large and small have been lobbed at Pier 55 since it was unveiled in 2014. It was recently revealed the developer Douglas Durst was behind at least some of those, which led Mayor de Blasio to intervene, asking Durst to drop his campaign against the park.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust told Curbed that the claims are “without merit” but they are willing to work “toward a constructive resolution in the near future.”