N.Y.U. Scores ‘Important Legal Victory’ in Expansion Lawsuit

IMAG0874Samantha Balaban Town hall meeting last week.

New York University trumpeted another “important legal victory” Friday as the New York Supreme Court rejected a request for discovery that brought Matthew Broderick and others to a court hearing in February.

As you’ll recall, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the East Village Community Coalition, and N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan are fighting the City Planning Commission’s and the City Council’s decision to approve N.Y.U.’s plan to build just under 1.9 million square feet across two blocks.

In a suit filed in September, the organizations allege that the city violated a law preventing the transferal of parkland without prior approval from the state legislature. At the hearing on Feb. 26, the petitioners argued that the City Planning Commission and the City Council should be ordered to immediately produce documents regarding the matter. The Friday ruling denied that request.

According to the law firm representing the petitioners, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the judge will likely hear oral arguments on the case in mid-May.

A press release said N.Y.U. was “very pleased with the judge’s ruling, particularly coming as it does less than three weeks after a ruling in our favor in the other suit filed against the plan.”

Three days earlier, on April 2, N.Y.U President John Sexton staunchly defended the expansion plan to a group of students at a town hall.

“I think every t was crossed and every i was dotted,” said Mr. Sexton. “I was the Dean of the Law School. I once did this stuff for a living and I’m very confident that we’ll win.”

“We’ll be patient and we’ll wait but sooner or later the lawsuit will end up in vindication of what the City Planning Commission did and what the City Council did,” he added.

As an interesting side note, Mr. Sexton also mentioned that his share of the proceeds from “Baseball As a Road to God,” which he co-wrote with two other authors, will be donated to N.Y.U financial aid.