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Gewirtz v. Long Beach, City of

Citation: 2 ELR 20523
No. No. 4807/71, 330 N.Y.2d 495, (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 03/24/1972)

A city which has dedicated beach front property to the public may not then act by local ordinance to limit access to the beach to residents of the city and their invited guests. Dedication to a public use can arise when a city accepts land for a public park, administers it as such and the public actually uses it. Once such a dedication is made the city's freedom of action is circumscribed. Land so dedicated may not be alienated without a very clear legislative mandate.Since the park cannot be sold or diverted to other uses, forbidding access to the land to certain classes of citizens denies them their rights to dedicated land. Therefore, the ordinance is invalid.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Zimmerman & Popper
120 West Park Avenue
Long Beach, N.Y. 11561

American Civil Liberties Union
156 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10010

Counsel for Defendant
Shayne, Dachs, Weiss, Kolbrener, Stanisci and Moe Levine
1501 Franklin Avenue
Mineola, N.Y. 11501

Counsel for State of New York
Louis J. Lefkowitz Attorney General
270 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10007