Community Bord has advisory review only on Park plan

Parks renovation plans proceed for the fountain basin and plaza at Washington Square Park. After Community Board 2, Landmarks, and the Art Commission approved Parks’ renovation plans for Washington Square Park, neighboring residents claimed that Parks failed to adequately disclose details of the plan during the approval process. In August 2006, a lower court enjoined Parks from moving forward with the renovation, ordering Parks to resubmit plans for the fountain and fountain plaza to each group. 3 CityLand 112 (Aug. 15, 2006).

On appeal the First Department reversed, ruling that there was no reason to annul the approvals. The court found that neither the Charter nor the Administrative Code required community board approval over park development projects like the one at Washington Square. While there could be an instance when withholding information would warrant a court order for a new review, in this case the court found substantial evidence that Parks adequately informed the board and it was aware of the details of the final plan. Parks held numerous informal discussions and also made a detailed presentation to the board. The court similarly found that Parks adequately informed Landmarks and the Art Commission and that it had not made any material omissions to either.

Greenberg v. City of New York, 2007 N.Y. Slip Op. 01943, (1st Dep’t Mar. 8, 2007).

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