City Faces Lawsuit After Approving NYU Expansion Plan

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The City Planning Commission and the City Council caused an uproar after they [approved New York University's expansion plan]( in July of 2012. Eleven groups opposing the construction announced on Tuesday that they are filing a lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit,filed Monday in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, lists 11 individual plaintiffs, as well as several group plaintiffs. According to Crain's New York Business, the plaintiffs include NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan; Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; Historic Districts Council; Washington Square Village Tenants' Association; East Village Community Coalition; Friends of Petrosino Square; LaGuardia Corner Gardens Inc.; Lower Manhattan Neighbors Organization; SoHo Alliance; Bowery Alliance of Neighbors; and NoHo Neighborhood Association. The lawsuit seeks to rescind the city's approval and temporarily halt further construction of NYU's 2031 expansion plan, according to The Associated Press. The lawsuit also points fingers at both the City Planning Commission and the City Council for ignoring the illegality of the plan. It claims that the plan calls for an illegal use of public land and did not give citizens an opportunity to voice their concerns. The city approved the plan unanimously despite the opposition from several groups and individuals, including NYU's own faculty. The original plan proposed the construction of four new buildings in the area surrounding Washington Square Park and the demolition of two low-rise buildings. However, after severe opposition to the plan, NYU reduced the proposal by 20 percent. The new plan calls for 1.9 million square feet of new space for classrooms and other buildings for NYU's students and faculty, according to AP. "We are confident that we will prevail in court against any claims that are made. NYU's proposal to build new academic facilities, student dormitories and faculty housing went through a five-year planning and consultation process," NYU said in a statement. By Tatiana Baez

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