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Friends of Van Cortlandt Park v. New York, City of

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20436
Nos. No. 20, 95 N.Y.2d 623/(N.Y., 02/08/2001) legislative approval necessary

The court holds that New York City must obtain state legislative approval before it can build a water filtration plant at a city park. Legislative approval is required when there is a substantial intrusion on parkland for non-park purposes, regardless of whether there has been an outright conveyance of title or whether the parkland is ultimately to be restored. Here, the plant is a non-park use and the public will be deprived of valued park service for at least five years while plant construction proceeds. Although the plant plainly serves an important public service, dedicated park areas in New York are impressed with a public trust for the benefit of the people of the state. Thus, their use for other than park purposes requires the direct and specific approval of the state legislature.

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 31 ELR 20242.]

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (11 pp., ELR Order No. L-336).

Counsel for Appellants
Howard B. Epstein
Schulte, Roth & Zabel
919 Third Ave., New York NY 10022
(212) 756-2000

Counsel for Respondents
Ronald Stemberg, Senior Ass't
Office of Corporation Counsel
100 Church St., New York NY 10007
(212) 788-0303