The lawsuit brought by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund against the state and city over leasing land to private developers was dismissed by a state judge yesterday. While the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund had been fine with earlier plans for private development as the state worked to add 85 acres of parkland to the area, when the number of condos increased sharply, a lawsuit was filed. The state's argument was that the private development would help create revenue to sustain the park. From the NY Sun:
The judge, Lawrence Knipel of state Supreme Court in Brooklyn, struck down [the BBPDF's claim that the state "violated" a public trust doctrine by leasing parkland to developers]. The parcels that will go to developers, Judge Knipel ruled, "are not parkland, have never been parkland and were never designated to become parkland."
The decision suggests that Judge Knipel found more than only legal arguments in the court papers. Underlying the case, Judge Knipel wrote, " is a fundamental disagreement" over whether a park should be designed with bringing in revenue.
"While this court is sympathetic to petitioner's position that parks should not be burdened with the cost of their own maintenance, this is a disagreement of philosophy, not law," the decision says.
The private development includes not just condos but a hotel. The BBPDF plans to appeal.