Housing, Higher Ed, Parks, and Healthcare Advocates Join Municipal Officials In Urging the Court of Appeals Not to Overturn “Implied Parkland” Doctrine
Housing, Higher Ed, Parks, and Healthcare Advocates Join Municipal Officials
In Urging the Court of Appeals Not to Overturn “Implied Parkland” Doctrine
Adverse Ruling by the Court Would Hamstring Municipalities And Mean Less Green Space in New York State Towns and Cities
A group representing municipal officials across New York State and another group representing advocates for affordable housing, hospitals, higher education, and parks have come out on the side of the City of New York and NYU in a case that will go before the New York State Court of Appeals.
The lawsuit emerges out of opposition to NYU’s plan – approved 44-1 by the City Council in July 2012 – to create much needed new academic facilities.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the City and NYU in October 2014 in the case, which turns on whether four strips of land at the periphery of blocks where NYU proposes to build are “implied parkland.” For more than 150 years, property can only be deemed implied parkland in New York State by “unequivocal… and unmistakable intention.” The Appellate Division held that the four strips did not meet the definition.
The Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, will hear the case in June.
Lynne Brown, Sr. Vice President at NYU, said, “There’s a serious public policy issue at stake in this case that could have a detrimental impact across the state.
“An adverse ruling by the Court of Appeals would force city and town governments all over New York into a problematic choice between giving up much-cherished temporary uses of municipal land – such as community gardens or recreational use of empty lots -- or giving up using land in the future for other important municipal needs, like low-income housing or needed healthcare facilities. The outcome? Either less green space, or hamstringing important projects like low-cost housing. And that’s why municipal officials from across the state and advocates for housing, hospitals, and parks have filed amicus briefs on behalf of NYU’s and the City of New York’s position.”
One amicus brief (opens .pdf file in a new window) was signed by the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, the Association of Towns of the State of New York, the City of Rochester, and the City of Syracuse. The other amicus brief (opens .pdf file in a new window) was signed by the New York Housing Conference, The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Phipps Houses, New Yorkers for Parks, the Greater New York Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State, and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.