Court rejects challenge to Hudson Yards condemnation

Easements for No. 7 line challenged. In October 2005, the MTA and the Planning Commission issued the final determination and findings, approving the extension of the No. 7 line from Times Square to 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue. The final determination approved the acquisition by eminent domain of property and easements and the related zoning for that property.

Five landowners, including Milstein Brothers 42nd Street and Mercedes-Benz Manhattan, filed petitions under the eminent domain law asking the court to reject the final determination. The petitioners claimed that the determination failed to comply with the law because it did not adequately notify landowners of the extent of the easement upon their property. They also claimed that the rezoning was an illegal taking or, alternatively, reverse spot zoning.

The First Department dismissed the petitions. The court found that the MTA and the Planning Commission had taken the required hard look at the areas of environmental concern and provided a well-reasoned basis for their determination. The court also ruled that extreme accuracy was not required when notifying landowners of the nature, timing and extent of an easement on their property. The eminent domain law only required that the approximate location and reasons for the location selection be set forth. With regard to the constitutional claims, the court found that the City’s procedures for just compensation were appropriate. Finally, the court found no basis for the reverse spot zoning claim, finding that the rezoning was part of a well-considered and comprehensive plan that served the City’s general welfare.

In re C/S 12th Ave. LLC v. City of New York, 2006 WL 1442306 (1st Dep’t).

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