An amicus brief led by Manhattan District 1 City Council Member Christopher Marte supporting the lawsuit to overturn the 2021 rezoning on Governors Island was filed by attorney Chuck Weinstock October 20, 2023. Excerpts below. Download the full brief HERE [PDF]
– Joining the Council Member on the amicus are the City Club of New York, the Metro Area Governors Island Coalition, East River Park Action, New York City Friends of Clearwater Inc., the South Street Seaport Coalition, Friends & Residents of Greater Gowanus, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, the Western Queens Community Land Trust, Kent Barwick, and Tom Fox
– The Upzoning is the latest example of a disturbing trend in public land use in the City. Here, as with Brooklyn Bridge Park, Diller Island, and other projects over the past decade, the government has worked in tandem with private developers and public-private entities to push the envelope of permissible uses of City land.
– Too often, their focus has been on the economics of parkland management. Disregarding the legal instruments and regulations that govern the use of the land, they have prioritized commercial exploitation above all else, without due consideration of the effects the commerce will have on the public’s enjoyment of the land.
– The excessive scale of the unpopular 2021 rezoning has not been shown as necessary to facilitate stated goals for the island.
– In particular the 2021 rezoning violates the GI deed by not legally dedicating in perpetuity the required acreage of parkland – and in fact attempting to allow building on 20% of that area.